Monday, February 13, 2006

What is the Kingdom of God?

Perhaps the title of this post sounds a bit too definite. I'm certainly not going to attempt to define the "Kingdom" exactly or to explain all the ins and outs of it. But, to me, something that I think of when I consider the "Kingdom of God" is that it is about being under God's loving authority and living as a subject in his kingdom--a kingdom that is invisible to most, and that will some day be visible to all. These are a few thoughts I had a couple days ago...

This morning I was thinking about having an eternal mindset. Jesus said that we are blessed if we are persecuted and suffer for righteousness. We are blessed when people say all kinds of evil things about us for his sake. We should rejoice because great is our reward in heaven (Matt. 5:12). When I thought about that phrase, "great is your reward in heaven", it hit me that such a mindset kind of sums up a lot of what I think about the kingdom of God.

When I think about the kingdom of God I think about being under the authority or "kingship" of God and therefore realizing that living with eternity in mind is more worthwhile than living with earthly things in mind. It is the mindset that allows me to say "amen" from the heart to the thought of being persecuted. It is the mindset that recognizes that my current citizenship is in heaven and I'm eagerly awaiting Jesus to return from there (Phil. 3:20). My citizenship in heaven is much more real than my citizenship of the United States. My citizenship here will expire upon death, but my citizenship there will be with me forever. The government of the United States will end; but his government will never end (Is. 9:7).

Knowing that only my citizenship in heaven will last, how then should I live? Such a thought embodies to me what it means to be in the Kingdom of God right now. Right now it is as if our King has gone on a journey and we are waiting for him to return (Matt. 21:33; 25:14). Actually, of course, our King is still very near to us and has not left us alone, but his physical presence is not here. We cannot see him with our eyes or touch him with our hands. The whole world cannot see him. The world does not know him (John 14:17; 1 John 3:1). But we know him. And we eagerly wait for the day when every eye shall see him (Rev. 1:7) and every knee bow before him (Phil. 2:10).

That Day is real to us. It WILL happen and we are excited. So, we choose to bow our knees now. We "see" him now, by faith with the eyes of our hearts. "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Cor 4:18). And that's what I think of when I think of the Kingdom of God right now--an eternal mindset that lives by faith rather than sight. The things we cannot see are more real than what we can see.

The physical, bodily presence of our King is "on a journey" and he has given us tasks to do. We will be about his business, waiting for his return more than "watchmen wait for the morning" (Ps. 130:6). The Kingdom of God is here right now. God is a ruling King among those who will have him. Not everyone recognizes it now, but soon… "Come, Lord Jesus!" He will come and his reward will be with him. He is actually bringing a reward. What a Savior!


Samantha said...

Wow that is a great message. God has truly blessed you! Thanks for the post.
in Christ

David said...

Well said, thanks for writing your thoughts and what God has revealed to you.

The Kingdom of God and You