It was a normal day, and I was going through my regular routine when it happened. I heard the still small voice of God’s Spirit speak to my spirit. It was only three words. “Buy the field.” Those words have been playing through my mind ever since, and I have been searching the Scripture. I knew those words were meant to take me to another level in my Christian walk, but I knew they were also meant to be shared.
In Matthew 13:44, Jesus said, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath and buyeth that field.” This man bought the field and took possession of the treasure. It was more important to him than all of his possessions.
How important is the kingdom of heaven to you? Most of us would say, “More than anything!” But is it really more than our possessions, our comfort, and having our own way? When our spiritual eyes are opened to see the kingdom of God, it is at that very moment we have the opportunity to possess this treasure, right now, right here in this world. The question we must ask ourselves is whether or not it is worth giving up everything of this world to possess it.
Living in the kingdom of God is not following a set of rules, doing a lot of good works, or coming up with a plan to ‘help God out’. It is following the King of the kingdom. It is following Jesus just as tangibly as His twelve disciples followed Him when He walked the earth clothed in human flesh. How can we do that? By allowing the Holy Spirit to live inside us, listening to His voice, then doing what He says. Jesus sent the Spirit to be with us for that very purpose. It requires surrendering our will to follow wherever He leads. There is a cost to follow. We die to self and live unto Christ. Jesus never tried to hide the fact that there is a cost.
In Luke 14:25-33, Jesus talked about the cost of following Him and living in His kingdom. Let’s look at three of these verses. “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he hath sufficient to finish it…Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?...So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” (verses 28, 31, 33) To live fully in God’s kingdom, we must forsake our own little kingdoms and the kingdoms of this world.
What has God opened your eyes to see? What has He stirred your spirit to do? Is it something He has spoken to you to give up or someplace He is leading you toward? When you choose to follow Him in those areas, you are choosing to walk in the kingdom of God.
It may mean we have to give up something dear to us in this world before we can fully walk in His kingdom, because the kingdom of God is the sphere where the will of the King is carried out. This world’s goods and our own plans often get in the way and need to be abandoned. We can choose to draw back if we wish, but only full surrender will bring full joy.
Jesus describes the joy the man in the parable had when he found the treasure. It had been hidden to him, but his eyes were opened and he gladly sold everything to have God’s kingdom. Everyone does not gladly receive it. Some hear of the kingdom and decide to go their own way. Others come so far and then decide the cost is too great, so they turn back. But the kingdom of God is within everyone’s reach. Whether or not we obtain it is our choice.
When Jesus sent out the seventy disciples two by two, He gave them these directions. “And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.”
Notice Jesus spoke of the possibility of two very different responses. But one factor remains the same - the kingdom of God is as close as your hand. It is right there! Some choose to live in that kingdom while others close their eyes to it and continue to live in darkness.
Jesus said to count the cost before you buy the field. Living in the kingdom of God requires all we have. It is not a sideline or add-on to our busy lives. It is all or nothing. We are either all in or all out. We cannot be true disciples of Jesus on a part time basis. We enter the kingdom as newborn babies, but we must press our way into the interior of this kingdom and not be content to play around the fringes.
The other passage of Scripture that came to mind is from Proverbs 31:16-17. It speaks of counting the cost, but it also shows us that finding the treasure is just the beginning. After that, we start learning how to function in His spiritual kingdom at the same time we are living in this physical kingdom. That is only possible with God’s Spirit in us. Once we have the treasure, what will we do with it? You don’t buy a field and let it lie dormant. The woman in Proverbs 31 shows us that.
“She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.” Notice this woman considers the field before she buys it. She looks it over to see if it’s worth the price, if it will produce fruit, and she considers if she is willing to put forth the effort to work it. She decides it is good and pays the price. Then she works it, cultivating, planting, and watering it. And it brings forth fruit, not just for her, but for her whole household.
The treasure in the field is worth the price. So, we are back at this deciding factor: Are we willing to put forth the effort to make the field useful? Our work is not over when we buy the field. It has just begun. The treasures of God’s kingdom are not to be hoarded for ourselves alone. God is not pleased when we hide it in our hearts and never let it flow out into the lives of others. We need to be sure to make good use of that which has been entrusted into our hands.
The whole plan of buying the field and living in God’s kingdom includes our salvation, but it also includes working in the field. On our journey from here to heaven, we are to spend everything we have to sow and reap the harvest. We have to freely give our time, money and talents to carry out the will of the King. Jesus said, “freely you have received, freely give.”
He also said the harvest was ready for reaping, but the laborers were few. He needs those who will give and give and give some more to see that the harvest is brought in, that not one soul is left out.
If you have bought the field, what are you doing with it? Does it produce just enough to feed you, or do you share the abundance with others? There is a world full of people who need someone willing to work in the field and bring them to a knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Has Jesus been drawing you to a certain work? Buy the field. Has He opened a door that seems too big for you to walk through? Buy the field. Has He asked you to let go of something that seems to be a good thing? Buy the field. Is He asking you to give more than you feel you can give? Buy the field. Buy the field and work it with all your heart.
Don’t leave the kingdom of God to walk in the kingdom of men. Don’t stop following the King of the kingdom when the path gets rough and steep. Because we are exchanging temporary blessings and rewards for eternal ones. The price is more than worth it.
“…and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath and buyeth that field.”