This was originally written and posted for the online magazine, Wrecked.
I was asked recently to define the Kingdom of God. I don’t know if anything qualifies me to come up with a sound definition, but as a lover and follower of Jesus Christ, I am beginning to see the beauty in the reality of those three words.
What is the Kingdom of God?
I continually grow deeper into an understanding, experience and faith of what this Kingdom is. I believe though His Kingdom is the same for all his children, it is also different for each one.
The Kingdom is an unleashing of gifts of the Spirit. A place to discover truths. A place where the Lord hands over one key at a time, from a ring of unending keys, to doors that will open when I knock. But maybe the richest beauty of the Kingdom is that my natural eye cannot see the windows and doors the Lord is opening until His time is right. I used to strive to surrender- now I live in surrender. The Kingdom, for me- right now, is a place where everything is hyper-sensitized. Colors are more vivid. Thoughts have clear images and can be transcribed into art…photographs, paintings, words- melodies meant just for Him. Dreams bear meaning and answers. Trees clap in harmony. Sounds of the seashore and clatter of shells in the surf play a magnificent symphony. The sky is bluer. The moon is fuller. The sun is hotter and the stars are brighter. Clouds tell adventure stories. Birds dance in flight and even beastly vultures and mounds of trash reveal amazing beauty! I find enchantment in children and new delights in my husband. I long to be childlike- creative and playful. I dance in the supermarket, skip holding hands down the sidewalk, sing in the coffee shop and swing instead of push at the park. Uncontrollable belly laughter comes unexpectedly. It’s a place where sand between my toes is a blessing not a nuisance. Every day, I see things over and over again for the first time.
It’s a place where I frequently drown out the minutia of daily busy-ness by turning my thoughts to Him and entering that place of great peace. It’s a supernatural calm in the calamity of honking, jammed traffic. My children’s screams are (most often) quickly inverted into laughter- mine or theirs. “Noise” is easily drowned out by the whispers of the Holy Spirit. His voice in everything. The only race I desire to run in this do-more, be-more, have-more society is that which is His. Laundry and dishes are an opportunity to sing praises. Emails, phone calls and task lists don’t control my actions. I eagerly turn my every thought up. “Is this what you want, Abba?”
A new sense of urgency, order and priority is developing within me in His Kingdom. It’s easier to say no and take on less. Life overflows with treasure. Sometimes, there seem to be more than 24 hours in a day, and there is always the right amount of time. It’s a Kingdom where front row parking spaces are most always available, yet I choose to leave them for others. Convictions of the Holy Spirit have me saying and leading “no, it’s not of God” to many things that are culturally acceptable. Right choices and actions smother wrong ones through the gentle prompts of His Spirit, and when they don’t- grace, mercy and forgiveness of self and others overpower guilt and condemnation. Challenges are opportunities… to grow in faith, awareness and awe.
Culture today is infiltrated with lies that make us think this Kingdom isn’t real. Or, it’s impossibly out of reach- reserved for priests and missionaries. I once desperately searched for these REAL Kingdom experiences through ungodly ways disguised as “truth” and “light.” TV hosts promise the “secret to happiness” through self- growth, self-awareness, self-help…Jesus says self- sacrifice is the way. It’s impossible to understand why God our Father loves us so much that he gives us- me- His Kingdom come. Here on Earth.
WAKE UP PEOPLE- we are not headed there when we die… we ARE there if we DIG and awaken His spirit within to it! We are (and I was) easily deceived into thinking that the Kingdom is once we leave this place and join Him in the heavenly realms. In reality, it is available here for us freely given as we seek His face above all else. The Kingdom is also a place where the need to be prepared for spiritual battle is real and apparent- yet never frightening in my identity in Jesus. Living in this Kingdom is a cultural abnormality that sometimes draws attention, ridicule and secret envy- but I will gladly reveal its source boldly to onlookers, explorers, and skeptics. The Kingdom is a humbling transcendence to a world most, even believers, are blind to and don’t grasp- and I’ve only reached the tip of an infinitely deep glacier. It is the most exciting adventure I can possible dream and I long to share the keys to my heart that the Lord has revealed to me- to this kingdom- His Kingdom- with anyone who will listen with an open heart.
But your keys will be your keys.
It’s a place where I don’t worry about what to say or write. I draw my words and strength from my dear friend the Holy Spirit, who will help me say the right thing- or guide me to right the wrong if I have not. It’s a kingdom of joy that exudes from within. I can’t explain it other than it is from the Lord- my Lord- the Living, Breathing REAL God- the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When those around me stop in wonder and ask, “ How are you so calm? How do you have so much energy?” or “ I don’t know how you do it” (meaning live such a full life so peacefully) I simply respond, “I don’t know either, but- I live in the Kingdom of God and the Joy of the Lord is my strength!”
Take some time to meditate on what the Kingdom is to you and you’re sure to discover another key.
Will you share your thoughts with me?