kingdom!

Kingdom!  Jesus talks a lot about another “kingdom.” His kingdom, He said, is “within us” rather than around us.  We’re told to be absorbed with our heavenly kingdom. But is it possible to be so”heavenly minded” that  we are no “earthly good?” 

The challenge is to be a follower of Jesus’ kingdom, while at the same time, being a citizen of this earth. God must have thought we could handle this task, or He would have simply airlifted us to heaven the moment we accepted Jesus.  For some reason, He wants us to inhabit two kingdoms.

It helps to understand the biblical term for kingdom or basileia.  Defined as “royal dominion or realm of rule,” the kingdom can be defined as the “eternal spiritual sovereignty of God.”  Spiritually, the kingdom of God exists now within the human heart of the believer.  That mean the kingdom exists now, and eternally in the complete glory of God’s rule.

In day 18 of our 21-Day Experiment, we see Jesus  responding to Pilate’s interrogation (John 18).  Jesus explained, “My kingdom  is not of this world” (John 18:36).  “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (John 18:37).

We live as citizens of two kingdoms.  Earth and heaven. Sometimes the two clash. How do we respond?  Let’s look how Jesus taught His disciples to approach our “dual citizenship.”  It all begins with prayer.  Remember that His disciples had seen Him wage some powerful kingdom battles.  They watched as He healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons.  No doubt the earthly kingdom had to bow before this savior.  But the only time they asked Him to “teach” them something was how to pray (Luke 11:1).

His response is known as the “Lord’s Prayer.” Look at the kingdom impact of this prayer. “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Mat. 6:10).   Jesus instructs us to pray for God’s kingdom to be accomplished here on earth, just like it is in heaven.  In heaven, God’s will is done perfectly—so when we pray for His kingdom, we are praying for His will.

This prayer  (in the Greek) is an imperative—more of a demand than a request.  It is better translated as, “Kingdom come!  Will be done on earth!”  I often think maybe Jesus wants us to stamp our feet, shake our fists, and shout a bit as we speak God’s Word for His will to be done on a fallen earth that is still crawling with enemies.

Such victories in battle don’t come without a fight, or without God’s Word as our authority.  The Bible calls this the fight of faith, and reminds us it’s a “good fight” (1 Timothy 1:18).  It’s clear Jesus wants us to have a heavenly kingdom perspective to our prayers, and a watchful eye toward earth for our results.

Today, I am watching for God at work around me and praying for His kingdom to come, and His will to be done…on earth, and in my own life and those around me.  I pray for you to be “kingdom minded” as you go about your day.

 

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