“The costume kingdom” by Paul David Tripp

“These three things– lack of excitement with the gospel, disappointment with God and with Christianity, and taking on the traits of my treasure rather than the character of Christ– can rip the mask off of the costume kingdom in your life.

Could it be that you have shrunk the kingdom of God down to the size of your little kingdom treasures? Could it be that your excitement with the things of the Lord is not really about the Lord at all?

Could it be that the transcendent glory of God and His kingdom has become for you more of a means to an end rather than the end itself?

The scary thing about the kingdom of self is that it is a costume kingdom. It very quickly takes on the shape and appearance of the kingdom of God.

It is very easy to think that we are living for God, while our personal agenda still rules our hearts and shapes our decisions, words, and actions.

It is very easy to think that we are living for the transcendent joys of intimate communion with God, fueled by a personal enthusiasm for His glory, when in fact we have placed our hope in the shadow glories of this created world.

It is very easy to think that we have exited the narrow confines of our little cubicle kingdoms to breathe the spiritually invigorating air of the kingdom of God, when really we are more entrapped in our cubicles than ever before.

It is very easy for our earth-bound treasures and anxiety-bound needs to masquerade as love for Christ and enthusiasm for His work on earth.

It is very easy to shrink the size of your life to the size of your life and not know it, because the little kingdom of self has been a costume kingdom since the time the fatal deception in the garden…

You are not alone in this battle to unmask and dismantle the little kingdom in your life. Be excited! Your Messiah gives you just what you need for this battle.

The little kingdom leaves you poor, so He offers you the good news of the eternal riches of His grace.

The little kingdom enslaves you, so He endured the cross to set you free. The little kingdom leaves you blind, so He places hands of grace on you to restore your sight.

The little kingdom has left you oppressed, so He purchased your release. In your Lord you find all the resources you need to live with insight and liberty while you breathe the big sky air of His glorious kingdom.”

–Paul David Tripp, A Quest For More: Living For Something Bigger Than You (Greensboro, NC: New Growth Press, 2008),  81-82.

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Filed under Christian Theology, Kingdom of God, Paul David Tripp, Quotable Quotes, Union with Christ

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