I love me a good analogy and I love me a great story so you can bet I’m excited when I find one tucked inside the other. I turned on the radio this morning to hear this true story in mid-telling.
A guy bought a house and was told by the former owners, “Just throw out the stuff in the garage. It’s a bunch of junk.” The new homeowner suspected otherwise and soon discovered seventy thousand paintings in that garage, noticing they were all signed by the same name. After some digging and expert opinions, what had been called junk was valued at over thirty million dollars. Yes, I said MILLION.
I immediately thought of the kingdom. The only difference is we don’t have to pay for the house. Jesus bought it for us. We’re no longer slaves but sons and daughters with OWNERSHIP. Ownership is a privilege but also carries with it responsibility.
Home ownership means you have a yard to maintain, peeling shutters that need replacing, property taxes that need to be paid. Kingdom ownership is simpler than that, but not necessarily as easy. It’s monkey-see-monkey do. Jesus watched the Father and then followed suit. He was a copycat and copycatting is what we need to be doing as well.
When one of my daughters has her artwork copied by her sister, she gets infuriated. The other day it resulted in a tower of notebooks three-stories high put in the middle of their two-seat desk. She built up a barricade so her sister couldn’t see her work. She whined and pouted and yelled and finally gave up drawing because she felt so wronged and insulted.
It couldn’t be more opposite with the Father. He invites us into His throne room, gives us generous glimpses of what He’s doing, is delighted when we join in, even allowing us to trace His magnificent artwork.
Life with Him means we’re heirs to a fortune. Many think we don’t take possession of it ‘til we get to heaven. True, we don’t have all the benefits of residence yet but does a parent of means enjoy giving to their kids only after they’ve died? A generous and loving parent delights in giving to their children along and along. Often and regularly.
God has outrageous and lavish gifts for us to open NOW. The Holy Spirit is the ultimate now-gift who walks with us, counsels us, encourages us, and comforts us. The gifts His presence brings are peace, joy, hope, freedom, healing, approval, acceptance, unconditional love–just to name a few.
The problem is we live in a world where people put up barricades and hide themselves–from God (who’s not fooled) and others. We desperately want community, to be known and to know, to feel loved and accepted and offer the same to others in spite of our being known and our knowing. We’re like Pavlov’s dogs. This is what we’ve been trained to see. This is how we’ve been trained to act.
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but it’s also said that nothing is impossible with God.
Might we need to learn new tricks? Allow the Holy Spirit to un-train us from the competition and the sibling rivalry and the hiding and the selfishness? Be freed to walk as children of the One True King–the ultimate Homeowner whose garage contains treasures we can’t even begin to fathom?
We, His children, get to enter the storehouse together, ooh and ah over the things each person finds and jump for joy as we have that eureka moment where we say “This is OURS!” Not because we paid for it or earned it; because He loved us enough to give us the deed and title.
Don’t wait ‘til you’ve arrived in your heavenly home or have “arrived” into good-behavior Christianity. Check out the garage today. Ask Him to show you His storehouse. It’s worth much more than thirty million dollars.
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