According to scripture, the Kingdom of God is a gathering of people of faith who function as “Kings and Priests.” (a) Some versions translate this phrase as “kingdom of priests.” Regardless of translation, this is a cooperative function of “My People Israel,” a reference to the natural and spiritual aspects of life.
So how should kings and priests interact in God’s Kingdom? As a blend of two functions! While one focuses on the natural matters of peace and safety, the other focuses on spiritual issues. God speaks of this authority in our lives as “His sanctuary and dominion.” (b) Sanctuary is the spiritual-sacred aspect of life and dominion is the natural-secular side of life. So when is our faith an effective witness to the world? Let’s explore.
Each person is a combination of spirit and flesh. As the natural and spiritual sides of our life influence each other, both Kings ‘and’ Priests are intended to work together. Such cooperation illustrates Kingdom Life. When one dominates the other, our lives tend to run amuck. Control by one usually leads to negating the other’s importance and silencing their voice in efforts to produce submission.
A great example of this imbalance took place in the first two historical Kingdom experiences. During the Old Testament example, when kings were in control as ‘the’ authority, they intimated and eventually sought to kill the priests that did not agree with them. (c) The New Testament Kingdom example, in time, yielded to religious leaders who eventually brought kings and nations into submission, producing the Dark Ages. In God’s Kingdom, both spiritual and secular influences are important as balancing voices.
Today, in the U.S.A. the sacred and secular facets of Kingdom life are labeled ‘church and state’. While functions differ, they should not be treated as separate. The sacred has many differing voices and the secular has different branches. This encourages us to find and maintain balance. Our safeguard against one taking control over the other is our election process. Every two and four years, we elect governing representatives. While both liberal and conservative views have contributing value, the greater truth is found in the moderate balance between the two.
In God’s Kingdom, both spiritual and secular influences are important as balancing voices.
Living in Freedom
The Apostle Paul said the “mystery of Christ” is not just personal, it applies to nations as fellow heirs, members and partakers of the promise! (d) All nations can experience Kingdom life in the degree that Christ (God’s anointing presence) is involved. This mystery is to “be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in heavenly places. (e)
Just as it was with God’s first two historical calls into Kingdom life, our battle today is between ideologies. One encourages God’s perspective and influence while the other tries to negate God’s involvement. Under the guise of social justice, the ideology of socialism promotes overlords taking from the prosperous in the name of equalization. This is another form of enslavement.
When Israel of old was first asked to maintain their freedom and work through the details, they also considered returning to slavery. (f) Kingdom life provides the liberty and freedom to improve and prosper, so we can share with those in need. This promotes the ideas of working hard and smart.
Do we want to live under controlling limitations for supposed ‘free’ provisions or excel under God’s liberating way of life? There is a cost; our willingness to be involved.
Paul admonishes us:
But now that you have come to know God…how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? (g)
Kingdom life provides the liberty and freedom to improve and prosper.
Godly Focus Improves Life
Jesus identified where the Kingdom of God functions: “Nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (h) God’s Light and Love is not given to be restrained by a covering or held in reserve for a different place or another day. (i)
When we focus on the flaws and short-comings of God’s human vessels, we can be distracted from seeing what God is seeking to accomplish. It is quite obvious: we all come up short of perfection, for no one is without error. Scripture proclaims: when we are guilty of one sin, we are guilty of all. (j) So why allow such distractions to keep us from seeing and supporting the right thing?
Focusing on flaws produces anxiety, disdain, distrust, and fear. How do we live without ill thoughts, emotions, and attitudes that tear us down? First, we fix our eyes on the unseen, not on what is seen! (k) Second, as we partake of God’s insightful presence and our actions flow in agreement, we influence improvements in this life.
Our faithful response to God’s guidance transforms what we think, believe and understand. His insightful presence helps us understand what He is saying in Scripture and see what He desires for us today. When our attitude and actions agree with God and His way of life, we can share what we receive and be influencing extensions of His Light and Love. How fully are we functioning as Kingdom people?
Our faithful response to God’s guidance transforms what we think, believe and understand.
Voting for God’s Kingdom Principles
How should our spiritual life influence secular life? First, as maturing children of God, our witness begins in our family. Our faithfulness is intended to reach into public life as well. Remember, our “faith in God is ineffective-as dead, if our actions do not agree with Him.” (l)
Jesus instructed us to proclaim the Gospel of God’s Kingdom, His governance among us. (m) Are we feeling and living in the truth that God is with us, among us and in our midst? Furthermore, how well are we hearing and seeing God’s involvement? While life can be better, let’s recognize how far we’ve come and press on and improve. Considering the state of our country’s affairs, we want to remember that politicians are supposed to represent our faith in natural matters, not rule over us.
Let us respond to the call:
Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. (n) Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (o)
When we live, act and vote as maturing extensions of God, we rule with Him in this life as kings and priests. May we voice God’s perspective into our national situation! Be sure to vote in agreement with God’s freeing way of life!
May we voice God’s perspective into our national situation!
a) Exodus 19:6; Revelation 5:10; 1:6; b) Psalms 114:1-2; c) Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34; d) Ephesians 3:3-6; e) Ephesians 3:9-10; f) Numbers 14:1-4; g) Galatians 4:9); h) Luke 17:21; i) Luke 8:16; j) James 2:8-13; k) 2 Corinthians 4:18; l) James 2:20, 26; m) Luke 4:43; Matthew 10:7; n) Isaiah 60:1; o) Matthew 5:16;