Summary: Climate can be a great destabilizing force. It can undermine our finances, our health, and our faith. We need a Climate Change!
Kingdom Climate 3
We confuse climate with weather. They are not the same thing. Climate is in fact defined as "a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years." So this is more than weather! Climate is in fact what sets weather into motion. Climate controls weather. Climate dictates what the weather will be like. Climate can be a great destabilizing force. So some of you are fighting storms, trouble, difficulties and you only seem to get temporary relief or respite. Then those same challenges show up on the horizon again! We expend all of our energy on fighting weather when if we would spend the same efforts on controlling the climate the storms, patterns, cycles would change! We have a tendency to react to the patterns and never do anything to address the climate that is causing those patterns. Some of you have been fighting the same fight new versions for 10 years, 20 years, 30 years and you rail against the weather but never deal with the root which is the climate that produces the weather.
So we began by saying that climate change must be preceded by climate control. Some of us are asking for climate change but we are unwilling to control the climate so the climate dictates no change. We talked about the fact that climate control dictates dismissal. There are folks in your life that have made a profession out of celebrating the death you are living through. They will try to talk you into believing that something is dead that is in reality only asleep. Until you dismiss them you will have no miracle. Then we said that the climate we allow/operate in will forecast our future. We talked about the fact that waves depends on wind. Who do you have in your life that can identify the wind and you make the changes so that the wave will stop?
So last time we shifted gears and I began to attempt to actually articulate from Paul's writings what a Kingdom Climate would look like in our individual life and in a church body. I am literally laying out for you line by line a climate that will produce a totally different weather pattern in your life. Again you can't complain about the weather that the climate you refuse to change produces. The issue is the climate we are talking about absolutely flies in the face and is absolutely opposite of our society's culture and unfortunately even most church cultures.
So Paul starts Romans 12 by addressing the first step to climate change which is to address the way you think.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
So far we have said that Kingdom Climate is:
Love Good/Hate Evil
We struggle to establish this kind of climate. Now however, it is going to get even harder. If you don't believe it can get harder. Look at what Paul does in verse 11.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
He literally stops right in the middle of outlining Kingdom Climate and instructs us that we need to check our zeal and up our spiritual fervor if we are going to be able to establish the rest of this climate. He knew that being connected, serving, sincere in love, believe good, loyal, and honoring is difficult and will probably wear us out. So Paul says get that work done and then check yourself, refire, and revive because establishing the remaining characteristics of Kingdom Climate will require heightened zeal and spiritual effort! In other words, you had better get a double dose of Holy Spirit if you intend to establish this climate in your life and church!
12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
Kingdom Climate dictates that we are:
We have allowed Walt Disney to steal the tagline from the body because we haven't done the hard work of establishing this climate. Walt Disney says his parks are the "Happiest place on earth!" That should offend and almost anger us. It should certainly highly motivate us. Paul says Kingdom Climate is a climate filled with joy! No more sour Christians! Our countenance should testify of His goodness. Well I am melancholy. I am kind of a downer. So what you are saying then is that your personality is God! His power should overtake and override our personality. If our joy is a gift from God, then it should be evident in our body!