While I was worshiping with family members recently the topic of Kingdom, God’s divine kingdom arose. I never used to think much about kingdom in the early days of my salvation. Like most people, I just believed if “we” could just get people to the point of repentance, God would do the rest. However, over the years as I matured in Christ I realized how I was completely missing the mark. It was never my job to “get” anyone or “convince” anyone to repent. Most believers are taught this principle that is leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of the un-churched regarding Jesus. In our ignorance, we just wind up ramming redemption down their throats! Jesus said if HE is lifted up, HE WOULD DRAW MEN! (John 12:32) No amount of melodious music, fog lamps, praise leaders or dress down Sundays can do this. Now, with that being said, I was able to take a closer look at what truly encompasses kingdom.
The revelation God gave to me is that His desire is for mankind to be restored to the era of pre-sin Adam. In that dispensation, both Adam and Eve were given the directive to subdue the earth to establish dominion over every living thing that moves or breathes (Gen 1:28). This was because they had complete access to God; no hindrances. If we as mankind have been given Godly instructions to take dominion, it lends credence to the fact that our divine purpose is to be kingdom minded people. Dominion is a position of headship over a defined area and makes us God’s steward. Had the fall of Adam not occurred, this order would still exist today. However in our present church era protocol, order, accountability and fiscal responsibility are terms that are loosely mentioned. These tenets are hailed as essential to “church” operation and the work of ministering seems to have fallen by the wayside. The reins must be pulled so that we can take a sober look at what the kingdom of God is, who its leaders are and where our place is within this hierarchy.
One error the institutional church has embraced regarding God’s kingdom is that they are still trying to fit a sphere into a square peg. The IC (institutional church) is driven by a man made pecking order we’ve come to call denominations. God didn’t call us to reinvent His plan! He never called us to establish denominations either. He’s interested in reaching people with His message of love and discipleship; not the messy traditions, legalism and division that denominational atmospheres create. When people are properly discipled they are able to make a sound decision to give their hearts and lives to God. God wants us to follow His leading, which doesn’t always include “joining” a membership (institutional church). Over the years, man has instituted their own failed template on how to organize bodies of people which excludes the Lord’s directives. The outcome is an organization whose focus is monetary gain, pomp, religion and rules; nothing more than a works-based club. While some or even many of its efforts may benefit a community, it is not the kingdom God had in mind because it usually omits compassion and grace. The problem with this model is that it is left up to one or more leaders who receives the blessing of social services. In God’s utopia, everyone equally deserves to eat the fat of the land.
The Kingdom of God resides within each and every blood bought believer. We are all tabernacles made for God’s glory. He’s hidden His treasure in us, the earthen vessel for this reason (II Cor 4:7). Only God gets the credit for our kingdom work, not a pastor, bishop, apostle, deacon or anyone else who feels they are so spiritually affluent they can levitate at will. Jesus gave us the plan on how to engage Him in worship. We have a model of love in the word on how to disciple babes in the faith. He left us a method for everything including loving discipline when it is necessary. He’s also left us a plan for bodies of worshipers to thrive financially but man had the need to pollute it to control the flow of blessings which greatly contributes to the fiasco we call ministry today. Jesus spoke through Paul by the spirit of a communal system of networking to insure no part of the body lacked resources (Acts 2:45). In the kingdom, the sole purpose is to expose the love of Christ to the masses not gain a huge memberships to garner monies for television advertisements or any other endeavor that breeds personal gain.
Kingdom work requires us to return to the work of Christ in its purity. Caring for the fatherless, orphans and widows (James 1:27) which is pure religion. Kingdom principles recognize all believers as valuable, viable instruments of God’s love. Kingdom thinking embraces the gifts of everyone of every gender. The last supper is such a beautiful representation of Kingdom. The disciples were made up of a cross section of society; not a small elite group. A tent maker, a tax collector, a physician and fisherman were a few of the professions found among them. No one was more esteemed than the other but all harnessed the same desire to please the Lord. In this quest to please God, they accepted Christ as messiah and embraced His heart for people. Is that what our modern day churches look, sound or feel like? I’m sad to report this is not the case.
Have we died, buried our issues and allowed Christ to resurrect us with kingdom purposes in mind or have we merely resurrected our own agendas, buried Christ’s directives and killed the ministry in others? Kingdom, dominion and son-ship only come in our lives in totality when we’ve lined up completely in God. The true message of kingdom is to see others through the lens of love. This is what Christ came to re-establish. In the Kingdom of God, there are no barriers, walls or division that paralyze the infusion of love that should dwell among us. The love we have should be contagious and given so freely it compels hearts to be drawn to Him. If our minds are not transformed or renewed, we’ll suffer from spiritual glaucoma that the modern church engages and souls will not understand the depth of Christ’s love for them. If we are to survive as a body, we must address God’s revelation of man cited in Psalms 94:11. He knows the thoughts of man and they are vanity. Kingdom perspectives embrace, love, grace and forgiveness; no room for vanity there. This is the proper foundation upon which to build a new believer who is a walking epistle, a mobile church. Church isn’t a building we attend or an identification that ties us to a denomination. The church is you!
Our intimate connection to the Father through worship helps us to understand our place in His kingdom. It is this relationship that yields a harvest of souls that have been properly mentored to replicate God’s model. Church is accepting that wherever we are, we’re in worship. The physical church building is a place of preparation not a place to hide. It is a place of healing for the broken hearted and a place for the unsaved to find truth.
Christ didn’t save us to make us slaves to a time, day and place to worship weekly. Salvation in it’s purist form is way beyond that. Let’s face it, Wednesday and Sunday services are not enough! He saved us to tell the world as kingdom minded people we can take dominion any where at any time when He directs us to action. Our position is to be pliable vessels; sensitive to His voice so that when we receive unction’s from the Holy Spirit to act, we implement His agenda. I pray many more will understand the freedom that comes from embracing the Kingdom of God rather than the rituals we’ve label as “Godly order”. Kingdom principles coupled with divine discipling is what I believe God wants us to conform to in these perilous times.
Be encouraged and blessed child of the most high God.