Jesus said pray, “Thy Kingdom Come”.
He spoke of distant land owners hiring workers and prodigal sons returning. He said “The Kingdom of God is like…” But what is the Kingdom of God? What does it look like? What does it mean?
Put very simply: the Kingdom of God consists of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit [ROM 14.17]. Most importantly, it lay at the heart of the mission of Jesus who in Himself embodied the Good News [MK 1.1] and established the Kingdom of God.
In the Bible, a Kingdom can mean a family from a single parent having grown into a Nation. But there is more. Also in the Bible, the “Kingdom of God” and the “Kingdom of Heaven” are synonymous terms. One was used when addressing Gentile audiences, the other Jewish ones. The Jews in reverence and fearful awe would not say the name of God or use the word lightly. Therefore the Gospel writers used the term “Kingdom of Heaven” instead when addressing Jewish people. Jesus established the Kingdom of God.
Though expected and hoped for by the Jews, the Kingdom of God was something which the people of the day [and today] misunderstood. Most knew of it and anticipated it as a reinstatement of the Davidic dynasty. But the Kingdom is far more than that: the Kingdom was prophesied about by Daniel and others but it was not yet (DAN 2.44). After the Fall, on Earth, there was a time when the Kingdom was not and then a time came when it was. Jesus brought and inaugurated it (MT 12.28; MK 1.15; LK 16.16), Jesus explained it (MT13.24-52) and Jesus did it (MT 11.4). The Kingdom is to be prayed for (MT 6.10) but is not yet in its fullness. God’s Kingdom is growing (LK 13.18-21) but it is not political nor is it nation specific. The Kingdom is a breaking in of the nature of one realm into the dimension of another. It is solely based upon the character and nature of the King [Jesus] and His realm.
Jesus set aside His power and glory as God and in humble flesh came to Earth. He then did the works of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. God’s Kingdom authority and its seal of power is what enabled Him to live the powerful Kingdom life He lived. It is also how we are to do it. Jesus, the Creator and Sustainer of all things, modeled this. In this way the Kingdom of one realm invades the dimensions of the other and the influence and frequency of the break through is an expanding one.
An invasion has taken place. We often limit this invasion to just Satan and his demons. Yes, at one time Satan invaded Gods’ Order of things but Jesus has invaded Satan’s usurped realm. He has bound the strong man. Satan is a defeated, yet entrenched, rebel insurgent. Satan is losing ground to King Jesus, His Kingdom and those people who participate in Kingdom Citizenship.
Our lives give testimony to Christ the King, to God’s authority advancing against His enemy. We are to do what Jesus did and does: Preach, Teach, Call and Send out, Free captives, Heal the sick, Cast out demons, and even raise the dead! But more than this: the Gospel is the Gospel of the Kingdom and all that the Kingdom entails, not just that portion we call “getting saved”. It is never us doing it but always Jesus in us. In Him we start seeing what He is doing, doing what He is doing, and end up plundering the enemy!
Pursuing the Kingdom means taking risks by being willing to look foolish. In the pursuit of His Kingdom we will be stretched beyond our comfort zones. We may also encounter aspects of creation that lay beyond our normal daily awareness. It can bewilder, scare and confuse us. It can also direct, inspire and empower us.