The Kingdom Of Heaven Suffers Violence
“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12 NKJV
This is one of those verses we read and think to ourselves, “Not sure what that means, so I will just move on to the next verse.” However, that would be a mistake because this is such powerful verse that teaches us how to see the things of God come to pass, how to enforce the promises that are ours in Jesus.
This verse is speaking to you because, in the verse that precedes it, Jesus says that you as a believer in Him, even if you are the weakest believer in the body of Christ, you are greater than John the Baptist whom Jesus says was the greatest man born of a woman. Then we come to down the verse we read above and realizing this is speaking about us, we should then feel empowered in Jesus.
We are told to be aggressive in the bringing of the spiritual realm realities into this natural realm. The term that we see in the verse that tends to confuse us is, “suffers violence”. That phrase means that we are to press in! Knowing who we are in Jesus we are expected to press into the spiritual realm and impress it upon this natural realm we dwell in, while in these natural bodies. We are to press in so that the spiritual realm realities (which are the greater realities by the way), those things are already established by Jesus in the spiritual realm, they displace the lesser realities of the natural world that we live in.
You have the power and authority of Jesus’ name and we are supposed to be forceful, overcoming all obstacles and snares along the way. This verse means we are to be zealous and energetic in our efforts to advance His kingdom. We are to be resolute in our advance in His power and authority as we take the kingdom of heaven forward. As we learn later in Matthew, against this the gates of Hades itself cannot stand. This is the spiritual power that has been invested in you through Jesus. You don’t have to do anything on your own, all you are doing is enforcing the victories that Jesus has already won, and you are enforcing what He has already done.
John was the greatest but even if I am the least of the followers of Jesus, I have greater power and authority because of what Jesus did on the cross and with His victorious resurrection. This is what we need to believe. This is the way we need to see ourselves because it is the way He sees us, and this is the way we need to act daily. Advance the kingdom by force today.
J Todd Hostetler