By now, most of us realize that we live in times of both great challenges and Kingdom advancement. Of course I’ve never been pregnant naturally, but I hear that labor pains feel a lot like dying. Yet, it is not death that is coming forth-but new life.

For many of us, we look at our nation and the world around us and it looks like death to so much of what we once thought of as foundations. I believe it is birth pains of life, birth pains of a Kingdom desiring to heal creation. Father is using the tough seasons to grow us up and to wake us up to His glory and His plans for all of humanity.

Romans 8:18-25 (MSG) That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.

All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within (and birthing destinies). These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance (and the increasing manifestation of sons and daughters of His glory). That is why waiting does not diminish us any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see fully what is enlarging in us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

These challenging seasons are part of Father’s divine maturation process for us. They are maturing us into His fullness, but we must be aware so that we do not get stuck in perpetual infancy. Religion has a way of comforting rather than truly demanding change within each of us. Through outward activities and rituals, we can go through the motion without dealing with the turmoil in our hearts.

Going to Heaven is not a goal but our destiny when we die. Our goal is becoming sons and daughters of the Living God fully formed into the image of Christ, the firstborn of all creation. He was the first born, and we are to be the next born in which the Father can say, “These are My beloved children, in whom I am well pleased.”

Progressive Transitions

Here are five significant people in Biblical history that brought forth God’s thoughts and plans for creation.

1. Adam
2. Abraham
3. Moses
4. David
5. Jesus

Each of the first four men carried the mandates and progression of God’s promises and will upon the earth. They prepared the way for Jesus to usher in Father’s Kingdom, while offering humanity the chance-through faith-to once again have relationship with God for all eternity. Jesus went beyond the old covenant and offered a new and better covenant for both Jew and Gentile. The earth will never have need for another significant man because Jesus has already fulfilled all, and established our present and future through ONE NEW MAN!

The Final Priest, King and Prophet is “Each and All of Us”!

God’s will going forward has been established and will remain unchanged until the fullness of His Kingdom is established on earth as it is in Heaven. He chose us, and provided the way through Christ to live and move, and have His being in us and through us. We are His ambassadors to carry His love, His nature, and the Gospel of His present and ever-approaching Kingdom. Jesus told us that the Kingdom of God is within us and we can trust His presence to accomplish the changing of atmosphere and hearts wherever we go.

As the corporate “One New Man,” we see now why Jesus prayed so fervently for us to be one with Him, the Father and each other. We are the message to the world; we are the ambassadors of His eternal Kingdom that presents the way, the truth and the life-Christ Himself to the world. He has allowed for and caused many challenges to grow us up in order for us to live a life that is fully pleasing to Him while bringing forth His glory.

Rise up, Beloved of God, you are the chosen and you are worthy in Christ to will and to do all to the glory of God. Challenges and changes are here to stay, and the wheat and the tares will continue to grow until finally the earth is filled with the knowledge of His glory like the waters cover the sea. Be of good cheer, nothing can separate you from His love as He uses every aspect of life to train and equip you. It may not always look or feel like life, but remember that ALL THINGS work together for good. Do not be discouraged and do not quit.

Your destiny is assured in Him.

Robert Ricciardelli