Matthew 13:44 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. 45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
The kingdom of heaven is the same as the kingdom of God. The terms are used interchangeably in Matthew 19:23-24. Kingdom of heaven means primarily, "the sovereign rule of God." The two short parables Jesus taught the disciples expresses our need to be totally committed to obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ, to be totally submitted to His rule. Being a slave to obedience to the Lord leads to righteousness, the fullness of life Jesus came to give us (Romans 6:16; John 10:10b; Matthew 28:20). Jesus is teaching us we need to be totally committed to God's rule in our life.
A pastor used an illustration 40 years ago that illustrated the type of commitment needed to serve the Lord. The setting: a trapeze act in the circus. High up on a platform a man stands on a platform holding a trapeze. Across the big circus circle high up on a platform stands a woman also holding a trapeze. The woman is going to swing the trapeze she is holding towards the man at the same time the man is going to swing down on his trapeze. The man is to let go of his trapeze, grab hold of the trapeze coming toward him and swing on to the platform the woman is standing on. A trick requiring great trust, timing and commitment. The man must be committed to letting go of his trapeze, grabbing hold of the trapeze the woman sent toward him, and swinging on up to the woman's platform. If he is committed he gets to the platform across the circus circle high up on a poll. What happens if he is only half committed and grabs the trapeze swung to him with one hand and holds on to his own trapeze with one hand? He is stranded in the middle high in the air with no platform to stand on.
Many people desire what God's rule offers them - eternal and abundant life, but are not willing to commit their entire life to obedience to the Lord. They will not experience the freedom and abundance of life the Lord desires for them. When we repent of our sin and believe the gospel, we receive the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:15; Ephesians 1:13-14) and the ability and capacity to live in obedience to the Lord's teaching. We use this ability by faith. We attempt to obey the Lord and He fulfills our attempt with His power (Galatians 2:20; 2 Thessalonians 1:11).
Are you hanging over the circus circle high up in the air hanging on to both trapezes? Let go of the trapeze you swung down on and grab with both hands the trapeze swung down to you and swing on to the platform high up in the air on the other side of the circle. When we let loose of our old life and begin by faith to live the new life God desires for us we will experience joy. We learn this from Jesus' teaching in John 15:10-11 "If you obey my commands you will abide in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you and that you joy may be full." Fullness of joy is the result of total commitment to obeying the Lord, to living under His rule and no one else's. Romans 12:2 "Do not be conformed to the ways of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may be able to test and approve His will, His good, pleasing and perfect will (His satisfying, gratifying and completing will)".