“From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it.” Mt. 11:12
And the Parallel Passage …
“…the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it.” Luke 16:16
What comes to me naturally is easy, it takes no work, effort. I coast easily into these things. This is the wide and easy way.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” Mt 7:13 This is the “Way of the World”
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world…” 1 John 2:15-16
What comes to me supernaturally, requiring submission to the Lord and faith, goes against my “nature” … This is hard requiring forceful intention and unrelenting labor. This is violent persecution of my flesh for righteousness sake.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ” Mt. 5:10
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8
The furthest thing, the most difficult thing for me — is to love my neighbor. But this is the new commandment given by Christ. It’s against my nature — in this dog-eat-dog world, we are trained to compete and put down others in order to elevate ourselves.
“This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.” 1 John 4:13
When I avoid filling my internal ache with ungodly things, and instead fill the “God Shaped” hole in my heart with Godly thoughts, intentions and desires…
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Mt. 5:6
“I am redeemed into the Kingdom of God, His willing servant. I am a slave no more.”