The last couple weeks, the Lord has been speaking to me through the life of David. As I read through the stories of his life, I kept thinking to myself, “this guy is operating on a totally different plane than everyone else”. Over and over, David responds to his circumstances in a way that no one else understands, and he seems crazy. He continually responds to Saul in a way that denies taking justice into his own hands, which in the eyes of those around him, would have been justified after all Saul had done to him. Later in the story, after Saul is gone, David’s own men take the life of Saul’s son, Ish-Bosheth, in an effort to avenge David against Saul and his offspring. Instead of the celebration I could imagine they were anticipating, David puts these arguably well-intentioned avengers to death, and a gruesome one at that, for taking an innocent man’s life. Even David’s wife despised him when she saw him dancing and celebrating half naked upon the return of the ark of the covenant.
As I reflected on this, the Lord reminded me of Matthew chapter 16 where Jesus is telling his disciples of the death he would face, when Peter rebukes him and says “this shall never happen to you.” Jesus’ response is strong. “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but only human concerns.” (Matthew 16:23, NIV) Jesus was operating on a different plane too. He operated out of a mindset of Kingdom, eternal reality, versus the earthly, temporal reality that consists of what can be seen and touched in the natural. He lived in a reality where no one understood unless they were there with Him. He responded to the situations around him in a way that seemed crazy and illogical to those watching.
Now to be transparent, last month was a tough one for me. Things that Seth and I had invested in seemed fruitless and the Lord delighted in showing me where I was truly placing my hope, and it wasn’t totally in Him. In one conversation I had with him, I told him it wasn’t fair that He would expect me to not be discouraged by a lack of visible fruit. I explained to Him that as a tangible human being, existing in a tangible world of things I can see and touch, it was natural for me to hope in and be comforted by tangible fruit. In the light of His revelation of this “higher plane”, he showed me that I had been right. That until I learn to operate out of the kingdom reality, I would never be capable of seeing things the way He does, things that are of the eternal reality that cannot be known by our earthly minds. The secret is to learn to operate on that “higher plane” where the crazy somehow becomes the normal. That place where our actions may seem irrational to those not living in that place we are all called to.
Now I know that there have been times in my life where my faith has spiked into that mindset for a time but like Peter I saw the wind and the waves and started to sink back into that temporal reality. The Lord showed me that this isn’t something that we can just figure out how to position ourselves in that reality and get comfortable. Even David had moments of dipping down out of that plane (i.e., Bathsheba and her husband). Only Jesus accomplished living a life solely in that place of complete denial of the flesh. Maybe it’s unrealistic for us as broken men and women to live a life of complete, unwavering denial of the flesh, but I have made it my heart’s desire and struggle to function in that place of the mind of Christ, realizing that I will still have moments of dipping down to that temporal mindset, but by the grace of God alone, to return to functioning in the reality of eternity.