Kingdom of God

My mind has a knack for thinking as though the Kingdom of God doesn’t exist.

Fairy tale princess castle

You would think, you would certainly think that the realization that I am in the Kingdom of God and one day will see it with my own eyes would give me more joy than I could put into words.

When I was six years old, my parents told me we would get to go to Disney World.  For a six year old, a vacation in Disney World is paradise.

When I was in my late teens, my parents told me we would get to go to Maui.  For a teenager who loves sun, beaches, the allergy-free environment of tropical flowers, and cheeseburgers served ocean side, a vacation in Maui is paradise.

But when it comes to the Kingdom of God, as much as I believe God’s Word, that He has actually saved me, and that His Kingdom is a real place . .

I don’t feel that welled-up excitement and big-eyed anticipation in myself as I wait.

The night before a trip to my best friend’s house, who lived several states away, I could hardly sleep.  I laid in bed thinking about when that plane would arrive.

But every night when I go to bed, to be honest, I’m not thinking about God’s Kingdom.  I’m thinking about troubles that may or may not happen, possible solutions to problems, or I’m simply thinking how tired I am.  And when I wake up, I don’t jump out of bed with the anticipation that I’m one day closer to seeing God’s Kingdom with my own eyes.  I lay in bed thinking about past failures and future dreads until my husband brings me a bowl of cereal.

Why is it so hard to live like the Kingdom is coming?

Is it because I don’t have a ticket in my hand?  Is it because there are no tourist pamphlets to browse through, no travel books to read up on all the sight-seeing and worship I’ll be able to do?

Is it because the end of my life is fuzzy (it could be today or who knows how long from now), and I don’t know how to look forward to something when I don’t know when it’s coming?

Is it because living like I’m in the Kingdom right now (because I really am) feels presumptuous to this wretched sinner?

Is it because, if I admit that I belong in God’s Kingdom because of the blood of Jesus Christ, I have to ditch some precious fears and dear guilts I’ve held onto for years?

I have friends who recently went to Disney for the first time.  Each day before their trip, they pulled paper Mickey Mouse ears off a chain on their door.  The last day, my friend took a picture of her husband lunging at the last Mickey Mouse with eyes of wild excitement.  Vacation time at last!

I wonder if we should have paper castles on a chain on our door.  We wouldn’t know how many castles to put, but maybe that wouldn’t matter.  Just the excitement of “pulling off” one more day until God’s Kingdom has arrived.  Or maybe we should draw tally marks on the wall like prisoners longing to escape.  This is part of understanding the Kingdom:

The Kingdom is coming.

But this is only part of the mystery of Heaven.  The other part is even harder to understand (I think):

The Kingdom is now.

Those sins I am so worried about?  Already purified.  These problems I don’t know how to fix?  I’m a royal daughter who can go to her all-wise Heavenly Father anytime she wishes.  The anxieties I have?  Ultimately they result from a confusion, disconnect, and lack of assurance about my identity as an heir to the King.

Wow, this stuff is hard.  That’s what I’m thinking even as I write this.  It’s hard to live like the Kingdom of God is coming and you will get to be a part of it.  It’s even harder to live like the Kingdom of God is here and you already belong to it.

What stands in my way?

I didn’t think about not deserving the trip to Disney World.

I didn’t focus on all the worries of home that might keep me away from Maui.

And I didn’t let the anxieties of a plane trip stop me from traveling to see my best friend.

But I do think about all these things when it comes to God’s Kingdom, because Satan is always clouding my thoughts:

You don’t deserve it.  You don’t *really* think God would invite you in . . do you?  You poor, unsuspecting, witless fool.

What about that problem you have to deal with tomorrow?  What about your to-do list?  What about all the things that are backlogged from yesterday?  The Kingdom of God will just have to wait until you’re caught up, until this problem is resolved, until you’re masterful at dealing with life.

Can you really trust God that He would save YOU?  Are you sure there’s not some kind of mistake?  What about death?  Do you really think you can handle THAT?  What if you’re not done when God takes away your life?  What will you do then?  What if this world is so much better than Heaven?  What if you find out you’re scared there and that it’s too big a place and the creatures there only frighten you?  What will you do then?  How can you look forward to a place like that?

The Kingdom is coming.

The Kingdom is now.

For a believer, the moment you give yourself to Christ is the moment of adoption into royalty.  The moment you ask for forgiveness is the moment you receive the extravagant attire of a prince or princess.  The moment you step foot through the thresh hold is the very instant all sin is released, all fears conquered, all anxieties slain.

Live like the Kingdom of God is here.

Live like the Kingdom of God is coming.

There’s only one way to do this: help from the King.  Only the King can open our eyes to the incredible castle safeguarding us.  Only the King can open our eyes to the real identity we now are.  Only the King can give us the heavenly perspective that the fears, troubles, doubts, problems, and anxieties we have on this earth are all drowned in the moat and that we are more than conquerors through Him (see Romans 8:37).

God, help me live like the Kingdom is coming. 

God, help me live like the Kingdom is here.

For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17, NLT)

Published in: on April 4, 2014 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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