Updated: Apr 18
In my last post I wrote about how there have been prophetic calls to come away from ‘Church as Usual” and “Playing Church”- these are common terms used to describe when people are engaging in empty religion as a way of life, or as the bible describes it, “...having a form of godliness, but denying it’s power…” (2 Timothy 3:5).
Empty religion may be satisfying for many people, but there are many more who are truly seeking God, and want to know Him for their selves. There are people out there who are confused by the myriad of voices that are trying to get them to believe and do all kinds of things that involve God (much of it erroneous, misleading and confusing).
And there are some sincere people out there who are seeking God and who want to know the answer to this question: “What does God want from me?”
The beautiful thing is, that God has a passionate desire to answer this question for those who earnestly seek Him. Here are some things God says about those who search for answers about Him…
“Those who seek Me will find Me”(Jeremiah 29:13)
“Seek FIRST the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33)
“God rewards those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6)
“Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and the door shall be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-11)
“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart”
God wants to answer your question, and give you so much more than you are able to receive.
What does God want from you???
God wants to give you the Kingdom.“.Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)
If you are of the mindset that there must be a life beyond “playing church” and empty religion, I think this reading will suit you perfectly. If you want to know more about the Kingdom, consider the things I will share with you for the next 5 weeks.
A quick disclaimer…I’m not a scholar or a theologian (although I enjoy reading, listening to, and evaluating various scholarly and theological views with the help of the Holy Spirit and other seasoned believers). But I believe that God has made the things of the Kingdom totally accessible to those who desire them. So, even though this post will barely scratch the surface on the Kingdom of God, I believe it will point seekers in the right direction in following Christ and living out the Kingdom in a practical way.
When I first set out to write this post I wanted to tie up this topic with a neat, 2-part bow, and move to the next. But as I began reading, praying and writing, an overflow treasures were made available for me to share. And it should be no surprise, we are talking about God’s Kingdom. We will never be able to exhaust this topic. So I have decided to do a write several posts about this topic. At first I wanted to do a series, but now I want to just go with the flow and share whatever the Holy Spirit gives me. I hope you will check in every week to get a full picture of what I am sharing.
So, I think the best way to start off is to do a brief overview answering the simple, but loaded question, “What is the Kingdom?”, and then we will unpack it over the course of the next few posts...
What is the Kingdom?
Did you know that Jesus spent His entire ministry describing, displaying, and demonstrating the Kingdom of God to people? He did this through His enigmatic parables, His acts of healing, forgiveness, casting out demons; also by teaching and giving the proper interpretation of the Law of Moses, by creating separation and differentiating between traditions of men and the ways of God His Father; by caring for the poor and preaching their liberation, by loving and associating with the outcasts and the marginalized, with sinners even; also by challenging the current political and religious power structures? You can read accounts of these things and more in the Gospels (New Testament).
His entire life and ministry on earth was Kingdom life in real time, and yet, the sad thing is that most people still did not understand what the Kingdom was, or even who Jesus was. Even His disciples were often dumbfounded by his words and actions, such as the time they needed Him to explain the parable of the sower (Matthew 13), and the time Jesus commanded a storm to cease, and the disciples were astonished at His level of authority. (Mark 4:35-41)
And although most people struggled to understand the Kingdom, Jesus lovingly and patiently continued to explain it to them and live it with them. Among those who did grasp any semblance of understanding of the Kingdom, were those who would not be expected to do so- such as the little children who were brought to Jesus (Matthew 19:13-14); and such the woman, who was a sinner, who washed Jesus’s feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair (kissing his feet and anointing them with perfume) (Luke 7:36-48); also, such as the woman who anointed Jesus’s head with oil that was worth an entire year’s salary (Mark 14); such as blind Bartimeus (Mark 10:46-52), and the Syrophoenician woman whose daughter was possessed by a demon (Matthew 15:21-28). You should go read that story…she REALLY got it. Peter saw it, too. (Matthew 16:16-19). Oh yes, there were those who got it, but, for the most part, not the people who were “supposed” to.
“I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.” (Matthew 11:25)
Truth is, none of us can or will get it unless God shows it to us, the same way He showed Peter.
And if anyone truly wants Him to, He will! (God doesn’t play favorites! His blessings are for everyone!)
So we are going to take an slow walk, but an adventurous one through the scripture to get a better understanding of what the Kingdom of God is like. I think God is going to give us all a greater understanding and a greater desire to practice Kingdom living as we continue to seek Him.
Until Next Time- Peace Be With You!