The Kingdom of God is the authoritative influence of God that is received by participants. God’s Kingdom includes His governing oversight ‘and’ our affirming response. As our loving and insightful Father, God has always sought to “lead and guide” us through this life. (a) [See end notes for Scriptures]
So how should we as individuals, groups and nations relate to the Kingdom of God today? Our heavenly Father continually offers renewing insight for our lives in Scripture and through His guiding presence. Regardless of our situation, we are invited to sense His Kingdom guidance.
Strength in Numbers
God created the first man and woman as a combination of flesh and spirit. (b) Just like them, we are designed to begin life in this world and to develop into levels of maturity as natural ‘and’ spiritual people. Our first parents however, traded the wisdom attained from God’s governance for a wisdom gained from the “good and evil” experience of this natural world. (c)
While God wants to be involved in each life, He is also concerned about our function as groups and nations. Together we become greater testimonies of the life His governance provides. Life in God’s Kingdom involves the ‘give and take’ interaction between us and God.
When we work together, individual abilities, gifts and expressions produce greater results. Our strength in numbers causes the Love and Light of God to shine brighter. (d) While this is true in fellowships, the “greater works” Jesus spoke of are amplified in our function as nations. (e)
When we work together, individual abilities, gifts and expressions produce greater results.
Scripture records two historical times when God supernaturally intervened in human affairs to form people of faith into “My People Israel.” The first appeal is recorded in the Old Testament. God delivered a mixed multitude of people from slavery to function as a nation, known as God’s Kingdom. (f)
The second appeal is detailed in the New Testament. Untold multitudes responded to the call to personally fellowship with God’s presence. (g) Participants, people of faith, became an influence everywhere they lived. Sadly, both historic responses eventually caved to enslaving overlords. (h)
A third intervention began 500 years ago as The Reformation. This call into Kingdom life began to free people and nations from the stifling control of national kings and religious priests. The “New World” became a place of freedom. As the United States of America was birthed, it emerged as a leader in forming constitutional republics where people were free from excessive controls.
With the freedom to live and prosper, a new middle class arose in the early 1800s, negating the class system of overlords and servants. This society learned to live and work with the Biblical concept of provision, caring for one another. New products and services were created, fulfilling a supply and demand. Standards of living for common people began to increase worldwide.
Research by British Economist Angus Maddison found that until 1820, 94% of the world’s population lived in abject poverty. Almost 200 years later, in 2015, the report said only 9.6% remained poverty stricken. Today, the freedom to live under God’s governance, working and prospering in peace is called Capitalism.
Our intimacy with God is not restricted to any age or time factor, nor is it restrained to any physical place. Kingdom living improves everyone’s quality of life. Just as God promised faithful father Abraham, the lives of people of faith will eventually benefit all people. (i) As our nations accept God’s Love and Light, they become better expressions of His desire for everyone.
Kingdom living improves everyone’s quality of life.
Kingdom Living Through the Ages
The Apostle Paul spoke of being caught up into the third heaven and seeing things he could not repeat. (j) What would Paul have thought of today’s world? Think about it–the quality of life, unimaginable conveniences, communication tools and modes of travel. These common aspects of our lives would be unspeakable things for his day!
“There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace…To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore.” (k) Jesus affirmed the ‘time’ prophesied began with the ministry of John the Baptist: “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.” (l)
Paul went on to affirm Kingdom living was for his day and for our day as well:
“That you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord…bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God…joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.” (m)
When we “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, all these things will be added.” (n) As we seek and pursue God’s ways among us, the quality of our lives improve spiritually ‘and’ naturally. Scripture tells us we can overcome our deathly attitudes and rise into better ways of living. As Christ was raised from the dead…so we too might walk in newness of life. (o)
We can overcome our deathly attitudes and rise into better ways of living.
Newness of Life
God calls each of us into the fellowship of His presence, personally and as nations, to follow His guidance. Growth in salvation and dimensions of Kingdom living are available to everyone. How well are we partaking of Kingdom reality and becoming better witnesses of God Light and Love?
The loving mercies of God are boundless, beyond our ability to exhaust. (p) Previous insight remains relevant while new light builds on earlier perceptions (just as the noon day sun adds to the morning dawn). All of God’s revealing insight prepares us for fresh awareness, so we become greater visible expressions of His way of life, in this life.
How do we as individuals and as nations shift our focus from a future anticipation to experience more of the Kingdom of God today? Here is how–we rise to be more effective examples of God’s character, attitude and personality (CAP) everywhere.
Degrees of salvation and levels of Kingdom living are available to everyone.
a) Psalms 31:3; 23:2-3; 67:4; b) Genesis 1:26; 2:7; c) Genesis 3:5-6; d) Matthew 5:16; e) John 14:12; f) Exodus 8:23; Leviticus 26:12; g) Romans 9:25; 1 Peter 2:9-10; h) Psalms 81:11-13; i) Genesis 22:18; Galatians 3:8; j) 2 Corinthians 12:2; k) Isaiah 9:7; l) Luke 16:16; m) Colossians 1:9-12; n) Matthew 6:33; o) Romans 6:4; p) Romans 11:33;