How often do you think about God’s Kingdom? How often are you aware of it, or do you see it, or do you want to? Jesus’ teaching on the kingdom was pretty radical in his time, as the Jews were hoping for a political movement or military to redeem them and overthrow the oppression they faced. We have the whole bible and countless examples and stories of God working in the lives of his people through the ages, and yet we still struggle to live this out from day to day. Where is our hope?
Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10
Often, there is a battle within us with desires for the things of this World and all it has to offer, versus the things of God. If we see these clearly, it can be easy to see the difference, but at times they are not what they appear to be, as we are fooled into believing they are something else. The enemy would desire to deceive us all into chasing after the worldly kingdoms and not to trust in God’s kingdom.
Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20-21
Here are a few indicators and things to evidence that the Kingdom of God is within you:
-You have pledged allegiance to Jesus as your Lord, and if anyone asks, you will acknowledge this.
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
-As you mature, you are more aware of any sin, or hint of sin in your life, and you are repulsed/offended by it. It is also easy to see in the lives of those around you.
-You desire more of God and Less of the World’s influence in your life. There will always be temptations you will face, but you are aware of these and the empty promises they offer compared to the riches found in following God.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” Matthew 4:8-10
-Your love for others is a natural outflow of who you are and often is something that others can see in your life. It is not always easy to show love to those that are difficult to love, but it is something you desire to do and have acted on.
-You forgive others quickly.
And forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. Matthew 6:12
This list is not exhaustive, as there are things that you may also have observed in others that indicate they are citizens of God’s Kingdom. There is often tangible fruit you can see that shows where your heart is and where that comes from. If you are aware of things that you struggle with and areas you need to work on, that is good, as God may be calling you to grow in these areas. If you are not aware of any areas in your life where growth was needed (or if others have concerns for you here), that would be more concerning. It should be our desire to invite as many who are willing to accept the call to join us in becoming citizens of God’s kingdom. Interact with others in the kingdom who will both challenge and encourage you in your walk. May God’s Spirit continue to grow more and more influential in your life as you seek to live out each day in his kingdom!
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
In His Service,