Secrets of the Lord's Prayer: What is the Kingdom of God?
Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matt. 6:10)
In what is often referred to as the “Lord’s Prayer,” Jesus shares with the disciples about how they can pray so as to have a close and intimate relationship with God like the one he has with the Father (Matt. 6:9-13). One aspect of this prayer is to address God’s desire to have His kingdom appear in our world. There have been lots of books written discussing God’s kingdom, like its features, when it will come, that it will only fully be realized in the return of Jesus Christ, and so forth. Many people believe that this is what Jesus wants His followers to discuss with God, but while I share a deep desire for Christ to break through the clouds and return to the earth again, and I do pray for Christ’s imminent return, I do not believe that a future desire for the final kingdom to appear is at the heart of this spiritual exercise.
Let me explain. I believe it’s much more personal than that—that Jesus wants us to discuss with God how He wants to make the Kingdom of God appear in our world through our us via our actions. In other words, we should be asking, “How can I do what you want here on earth?” Why does He want that? So that at least at one point on this earth, there is a bit of heaven because of you or I person to God. Simply put, Jesus wants us to have a kingdom discussion with God and live out what it means to be citizens of heaven on this earth. In this way, we will show the people of this world the reality of the next world.
In the time of the apostle Paul, the city of Philippi was a Roman Colony, which meant that it was an extension of Rome outside of Rome. Roman law, Roman culture, and Roman rules applied in this city. Paul wrote to the Christians there explaining that they were actually an extension of heaven because as Christian, they live by heavenly law, heavenly culture, and heavenly rules. He said, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20).
Do you know what this means? We are a part of a different structure and country. We are a part of a kingdom, which is coming, but already exists in the lives and deeds of its citizens. In Matthew 3:2, John the Baptist started proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The people needed to make themselves ready to join a different culture. Instead of one that was dog-eat-dog and selfish to its core, this new kingdom was built on God’s ideals. The kingdom did not come as a political kingdom but in the presence of the king. Wherever Jesus was on Earth the Kingdom was made manifest. Until God actually splits the skies and blasts the trumpet marking the return of Christ, we are God’s kingdom agents spreading the kingdom of God through our deeds, conversations, and invitations. As we wait for the king to come to set up the physical manifestation of the kingdom of God, He wants to talk with us daily, even hourly, about how we let God flow through us to display the kingdom of God in the world.
Will you ask God today how He would like to use you to display His kingdom? I would love to hear from you and your experience with God your Father. Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, your greatest life is just ahead.
In His service,
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Grow a Spirit-led life.
Dr. Gil Stieglitz helps Christians understand how to develop a Spirit-led life based on the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. See what God is asking from you when He tells you to "be loving" or "practice joy" or "be peaceful," and so on to the people in your life. Get ready to experience life change, deeper relationships, greater success, and more joy. You won't want to miss this one!This book comes with video commentaries that accompany each chapter, easily accessible from your smart phone or electronic device.