Final Part 7 of 7 in a series to attempt to answer the question, from my own experience and witness, “What does the Kingdom of God look like (in real life)?.”
In all the talk about who is great, who we want to make great again, and who is the g.o.a.t. (aka greatest of all time), God’s view of who is great is completely the opposite from the world. To God, whatever is highly valued by the world is detestable to Him (Luke 16:15) and whoever is considered least in this world are the ones who are great in His eyes (Luke 9:48). God’s Kingdom is the complete reversal of the world’s kingdoms.
How do we know that God does indeed have special favor and esteem that He bestows on the “least of these”? It is through something that this world can never give…intimacy with Him. Think, in the bible, to whom and when God personally appears and shares special intimacy with people: an old childless nomad in the desert, a shamed bi-cultural stranger in a strange land, a little boy born of a barren mother who was raised in a temple, a runt of the litter shepherd boy, and a virgin teen girl from a poor neighborhood, just to name some. In my experience too, the people i have come to know who have had the most amazing supernatural revelations and experiences of intimacy with God are people that this world overlooks.
Gus came from a family of 8 siblings, growing up in poverty in a rough neighborhood. He is someone that society has overlooked. He doesn’t have any advanced degrees. He was notoriously violent and struggled with substance abuse. That was until the Lord met him about 7 years ago. Since then God has been transforming him and he has a relationship with God that i’m jealous of.
About a year ago our church was doing a bible study in the book of Daniel. Daniel himself was not someone “great” before God stepped in; essentially he was a trafficked teenager who was enslaved and likely castrated in service of a foreign king in a foreign land. One of the first and most miraculous ways God revealed Himself to this boy was to not only interpret this mad king’s dream but to reveal to Daniel what the king dreamed BEFORE the king even told him what the dream was. This is an impossible task, for anyone could come up with an interpretation for a dream once they hear it, but who could possibly know what another person dreamed before they even heard it from the dreamer, except God alone? And, come on, that’s a silly story in an ancient text that doesn’t happen today, right? Wrong.
During the weeks of our bible study in the book of Daniel, God gave Gus a vision of a woman walking down the street and then hands came up out of the ground and started pulling her down.
Gus asked God, “Who is this word for?”
God replied “No. This is someone’s dream.” That following Sunday, Gus saw a young adult that has been a part of our church for years. She too was raised in this poor neighborhood and was raised by a single mother who struggled to make ends meet for her 4 children. God told Gus “It was her dream.”
Gus hesitantly approached this young lady and shared the vision that he had seen.
She immediately asked “Have you been talking to so-and-so? I just told her that I had that dream.”
Gus answered “No. God told me.”
This young lady’s jaw dropped and she went on to share how she was going through a lot of struggles and that those struggles were holding her down. For those who may still be skeptical, God revealed yet another dream in detail to Gus and it turned out to be a different dream that this same young lady had!
You see God lifts up “the least of these” in this world to show us true greatness, giving them insight that no human could possibly know…even to lift up others who also don’t have much in the world’s eyes, in order to demonstrate that HE sees them.
In God’s Kingdom, HE makes the least of these the great ones among us.