The kingdom of God has at least three necessary components:
- There is a King –> The Lord Jesus Christ
- There are subjects of the King –> Christ’s followers and…
- There is the King’s territory –> Anywhere the rule of the King is extended
We also see from Scripture that there are three dimensions of God’s kingdom:
- The kingdom of God is IN us (John 1:1-8; Luke 17:21).
- The kingdom of God is UPON or AMONG us (Matthew 12:28, Romans 14:17; and 1 Corinthians 4:20).
- The kingdom of God will be WITH us when we reign with Christ (Luke 1:33; 1 Corinthians 15:24&25; Revelation 21:10; 22:5).
Again, our working definition for the kingdom of God is:
The authority to carry out the will and the ways of our King, Jesus Christ in a particular realm or arena of life.
But what is the difference between the kingdom of God being “in us” versus, “upon us”? God’s kingdom reigning IN us means we allow His kingship to have free reign in our inner being. We keep in step with Spirit and operate out of His life within us (See Galatians 5:25). When the kingdom is UPON us, we are exercising our Christ given authority in obedience related to a particular arena of life. We are actually advancing His will and His principles into the context of our unique cultures.
Look closely at Romans 14:17 (NASB):
“17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
Righteousness is doing the right thing. Not once, not twice, but consistently over and over again. The best way I know how to live righteously is to take small, incremental steps of obedience, day-in and day-out. Usually these steps are not overtly profound but often subtle, intentional, demonstrative, filled with risk, creative, purposeful and respectful of Christ and others. After all, the Scripture is clear that “Christ’s love [is what] compels us… “(2 Corinthians 5:14). May His love be our driving motivation to carry out His kingdom work!
Another profound and downright convicting verse was penned by the apostle Paul:
“20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.” – 1 Corinthians 4:20
So many of us are expert talkers. We talk, and talk, and then talk some more. But when we choose to step out in dependence upon the “wind and the fire” of the Holy Spirit, we then experience this verse to be true. We start living in the magnificent POWER of God, and as a result walk in His kingdom rule UPON us! The promise of the release of the kingdom of God is for anyone who is subjected to the King!
Would you agree that we ALL can attempt to be more obedient?
This week, will you choose with me, to:
• Act rather than re-act?
• Obey rather than stay away?
• Stand UP rather than stand back?
• Submit to His promptings rather than subvert His promptings?
In Christ our King,