Monday, December 08, 2008
The Christ and His Kingdom - Part 3
"Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, 'The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in you.'" Luke 17:20 and 21
While many have become a “movement” enamored with signs and wonders, they seemingly have no understanding of the Kingdom. We have been seeking the fruits of the Kingdom instead of the Kingdom alone. One cannot ever bear true (Kingdom) fruit without first being rooted in the (Kingdom) tree. I, for one, am not interested in all of the fluff and fuzzies as much as I am interested in knowing the Giver of them. Although I don’t understand it all, I believe that God is a giver of what we ask. If one desires signs and wonders above all else, I believe that is what they will get. But, is that what is really the focal point of our knowing Him? I would take intimacy with Him and residence in His Kingdom above all else. I don’t choose to dwell here because of what fruit grows here. I live here because I am in love with the King of the Kingdom! It is what I, His Ambassador, can do for His Kingdom, not what the Kingdom can do for me.
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15
We keep waiting for the Kingdom that is already here! The time is fulfilled! The time for repentance and belief is now. Again I say, wait no longer! Repent, believe – the Kingdom is now!
“My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” John 18:36
We’re in need of a “realm change”. I’d, without hesitancy, say that the majority of Believers live in the carnal realm that opposes the Kingdom realm. We simply cannot walk in the power of The Christ in the efforts of our flesh! Jesus, Christ in flesh and bone, tells us this in this verse. The Kingdom of God, although it is within us, does not operate in the same realm as that of the world. The original text explains it as meaning “my Kingdom is not from hence” or “not from here”. Are you starting to see the reality of being not of this world? I pray that you are, for it is as real as real can get! If you are born from above, it is black and white – you have been recreated to live in a Kingdom that is not of this realm. May we stop living as foreigners of the land in which we were regenerated to live in! Get acquainted with your new home! Do you even know what it looks like? Have you been there? How ignorant of us to even think that we not know where we reside? Seek the Word and discover the vast Kingdom that you may now dwell in! His kingdom is not of this earthly realm, so why choose to be subject to it any longer?
“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14
Why has The Christ not returned in all His glory? Because we’ve not yet preached His Kingdom!
Friends, we have been living blindly in a worldly mindset for far too long! We’ve been trying to approach God with our intellect and works and have been unsuccessful. We have erected structures that we say are for His glory, yet they are for our own. We have said flattering words, yet our hearts are far from Him. We have chosen to dwell in a lesser kingdom instead of seek residence in His. We must approach everything with Kingdom mentality! A Kingdom species - new creation people – Kingdom realm Believers - that are ruled by Christ reside in a Kingdom that is spiritual, not natural. I encourage you to set some time aside and look into the many times that Christ references a Kingdom. There is so much more within the Word.
As this concludes a small portion of the larger study that I'm doing on The Christ, it's my hope and prayer that it challenges us all to step into our role as a Kingdom Body. The more I read of the Kingdom, the more I see how few know what it is and even fewer that actually walk in it as reality. It goes against everything that you know according to your flesh. It will be painful at times and joyous at others. But if you are truly a biblical Believer, you have no choice - His Kingdom must be your dwelling. If the things of this carnal earth aren't becoming more and more detestable to you, there is a problem at the foundation. I challenge you as I challenge myself - when your feet hit the floor each morning, declare that you are a Kingdom of God dweller! The Christ is your King and He is your ability, your strength, your authority. You live to exercise His purposes alone. Choose to see according to the Spirit, not according to your personal interests and opinions, if they're contrary to His. Walk instance by instance as an overcomer for you have what is cherished above all else, intimacy with the King of the entire Kingdom!