Secrets of the Lord's Prayer: Becoming God's Kingdom Agent
Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matt. 6:10)
In the article before this one, I explained how Jesus shares with the disciples 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. To read the full article, click HERE.
Today's article deals with the tangible expressions or realities about what the Kingdom of God looks like here and today. It is in these ways that we become Kingdom agents and answer the question, "How can the Kingdom of God come to my life today?" There are least three expressions or evidences of the Kingdom in our world that God wants to talk with us about:
Realize that each of these expressions of Kingdom activity in our world comes sourced in God. He is the one who will give the actions that are kingdom actions. He is the one who will develop in and through you Kingdom character. And He is the one who will warn, enforce, and provide the power to turn away from God's negative boundaries. We run across these Kingdom elements under different areas in Scripture.
Kingdom Actions. God tells us in various places in Scripture that He wants to produce fruit in and through our lives as evidence to others that God is real and at work in our life (John 15:1-8; Gal 5:22,23). It makes sense that God would want to have a discussion with us regularly about what we will let Him do through us. He wants to prompt us to love, to have joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. Letting God add huge amounts of these qualities into our various relationships changes the nature of our life.
Kingdom Character. God tells us in the opening verses of the Sermon on the Mount the character qualities of the Kingdom, which is essentially Jesus' character as found in the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:1-11). It is these qualities pouring through our lives that mark us as citizens of heaven: Poor in Spirit (humble); Mourning (processing pain); Meekness (power under control); Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness (desire for good); Merciful; Pure in heart (positive, pure and edifying thought life); Peacemakers (bringing harmony, order and calm); Persecuted for righteousness and Christ (establishing healthy boundaries).
Kingdom Boundaries. God tells us way back in Exodus that there are certain behaviors that will threaten our community, destroy other individuals, and damage ourselves. We understand these as The Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1-17). They are a win-lose red line, the markers that tell us when we are no longer playing fair with others.
Too often we see the kingdom as some wonderful, mysterious thing that will come in the future. But today, we are stuck in the deeply depressing, sinful, here and now. God tells His followers to interact with Him about how they can become a conduit to the Kingdom that is present right here through them. We are to become Kingdom agents, so we have to talk with God about what it is that He wants us to do to be effective at that. Sometimes it involves loving your spouse when you don't want to. Sometimes you may need to volunteer at a soup kitchen even though your time is tight. Sometimes He may ask you to go and talk with a neighbor. Sometimes He wants you to be a great employee at work, working as to the Lord, not men (Col. 3:23-24).
Remember, this was Jesus' response when He was asked by His disciples how to have the intimate personal connection and relationship with God that He had. The disciples saw in Jesus' prayer life a different way of relating to God, and they wanted that. Jesus did not discourage this line of inquiry, instead He encouraged them by talking about the types of conversations and spiritual exercises that true disciples need to have with God if they are going to be truly intimate with God. Praying to make a Kingdom difference here and now is one of them.
Will you ask God today how He would like to make you into the ultimate Kingdom agent? 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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The Fruit of the Spirit explained simply and with relevance for today.
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.