“I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply against you. Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land.”
Every generation of saints have been awaiting the full and final achievement of God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, Moses, and David in their own lifetimes, every generation facing their own respective exile in a foreign world, their own unique persecution by the devils of earth, their own particular yearning put in prayer form: “How long O Lord?!” And the Lord has thus far, from the days of Adam till now, answered back the same words: “Not yet.” Or at least that’s how we’ve tended to interpret His answer as the generations of our exile have multiplied.
When my three-year-old daughter smells mommy’s chocolate-chip muffins baking in the oven, she’ll peer longingly through the oven door and ask, “Are they ready now?” And Megan replies sweetly, “They’re still baking—they’ll be done soon!” which I find to be a helpful analogy for God’s Kingdom work throughout history. See, it’s probably a misconception to think that the Kingdom is slowly being ushered in through history, because no amount of magna cartas and ninety-five theses and constitutions can actuate harmony between lions and lambs and cure cancers or turn every gun into a plowshare. Yet the Kingdom isn’t the contrary of that either. It isn’t an all-at-once creation of all things, where past history is eradicated and our lives have no bearing on the outcome. It’s more a paradoxical syntheses of these two extremes: the thesis being that God is ushering in His Kingdom slowly, and the antithesis being that God will create His Kingdom all at once.
I wish as much as you do that Christ would come back through the clouds today and call us up to meet Him, friend—and maybe He will! But let’s not miss the Spirit’s work in this chapter of Redemption’s story today. Behold! Hell is being overrun even now. Lives are being transformed this very moment. And the fact that I’m still here doing my God-ordained work, and you’re still here doing yours, is proof that God’s still doing His.