Kingdom Alignment

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At the turn of the 20th century The London Times posed a question to its readers: “What’s wrong with this world?” Perhaps you have recently asked the same question. One response, penned by the English writer, poet, and philosopher G. K. Chesterton, was brilliant. He wrote, “Dear Sirs, I am.” How’s that for honesty?

Unlike Chesterton, when God asked Adam what he had done, he blamed his wife, Eve. He never accepted responsibility for his sin, which continues in us today. Scholars estimate approximately 4000-5000 years elapsed between Adam and the birth of Jesus. Jesus came into the world with a purpose -- to seek and save that which was lost and to usher in the Kingdom of God! (Luke 19:10)

Daniel prophesied God would set up a kingdom that would endure forever. When Daniel was delivered from the den of lions, king Darius emphasized the prophesy with his decree to all the nations: “all people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed.” (Daniel 6:26-27)

Years later, John the Baptist emerged from the wilderness of Judea with the urgent message, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matthew 3:2) People from Jerusalem and all Judea responded, confessing their sins and being baptized.

While John announced, “the kingdom of God is coming,” Jesus said, “the kingdom of God is at hand.” Jesus came as the king of that kingdom. Nevertheless, the kingdom that Jesus brought and the kingdom the people expected were two different things. The people expected a powerful earthly kingdom, comparable to the one God established through David. Jesus, however, came to establish an eternal kingdom, one encompassed by the rule of God. Jesus emphasized that the kingdom begins in our lives here, essentially saying, “this is it, wait no more, the time is fulfilled, the kingdom is now available to you, come receive it.”

The kingdom of God is the realm where God’s reign is experienced. It is not just the Church. God is the sovereign king who reigns and rules over all things. Thus, the kingdom of God is present with us everywhere.

God’s kingdom also is in progress. It is both present and future, not just a place we go when we die. In the fullness of time Jesus will establish his kingdom forever.  (Revelation 21). The kingdom of God was Jesus’ central message. This kingdom has the dual meaning as the rule of Christ at the end of the age and over every area in our lives now. When we repent and receive salvation into his kingdom, we can and must develop a kingdom-mindset.

To begin to think and act differently, we align ourselves with his kingdom. The word ‘alignment’ is defined as a position of agreement or an arrangement in a straight line. In other words, we situate ourselves in a position of agreement with the Word of God.

As Jesus said, “Repent and believe the good news.”

Repentance is a prerequisite to entering the kingdom of God. It means to change our behavior, our attitude concerning sin and self. Repentant people repent emotionally and passionately. It’s not just a simple “Lord, forgive me of all my sins” or feeling remorseful. It is having what the psalmist said, “a broken and contrite heart…God…will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17) Jesus characterized this contrition to Nicodemus, saying, “no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” (John 3:3) With contrition, we align ourselves with the Kingdom of God by studying and believing his Word and then putting it into practice. The word of God, enabled by the Holy Spirit, changes our mindset, which influences how we feel and act.

When we align ourselves with the Kingdom of God, we no longer live with an earthly perspective but with the eternal perspective of the Kingdom. The Good News is that we no longer have to live bound by sin.  As the late pastor and theologian R.C Sproul stated, “The only way the kingdom of God is going to be manifested in this world before Christ comes is if we manifest it by the way we live as citizens of heaven and subjects of the King.” Our journey in Christ proceeds as we align ourselves with his kingdom principles and agenda with the help of the Holy Spirit.

©2024, Jacqueline Leveron

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