Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied to them by saying, “The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed or with visible display. Nor will people say, ‘Look! Here it is!’ or, ‘See. It is there!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you].” Luke 17:20-21 (AMP)
At Friends of the King, we spend much time discussing foundational truths.
What is the gospel of the kingdom of God? Who is Jesus Christ? Who are we once we become disciples of Jesus? What does it mean to know God as our Father? Who is the Holy Spirit, and what does it mean for the Holy Spirit to live in you?
All these questions are crucial to our understanding of reality. And our scripture studies reveal many facets of truth to each one – facets not in terms of different points of view, but in the sense of a beautifully cut diamond. Jesus is Lamb of God and Lion of Judah, suffering Servant and King of kings, Son of God and Son of Man, the One who hung on the Cross and the Risen One revealed in Revelation with a face that shines like the sun. Wow!
Twelve years ago, we examined what the Lord’s Prayer says, to wit: that our prayer is not to go to heaven, but for the kingdom of God to come to earth. The Kingdom exists wherever the rightful rule of King Jesus is honored and embraced. So we asked ourselves, “What would the Kingdom look like if it was here in our greater Kingsport /Gate City/Tri-Cities community?”
In other words, can we imagine (visualize) the outcome of what we continually pray for?
The answers we came up with were, in my opinion, breath-taking both then and now.
Everyone in the community would know what it is to love and be loved, both by God and neighbor. Everyone would be valued.
There would be no pride and self-centeredness, no more people trying to force their own agendas onto others. Our humility would empower the selfless nature of our love, including our healthy love of ourselves and our appreciation of what God made when He made “me” and “you”.
There would be no unbelief. Our faith in God would match His flawless faithfulness. Through our great faith, the Lord would work miracles and move mountains.
We would grow daily in truth, wisdom and understanding as, led by the Spirit of truth, we meditate daily on God’s Word. We would be set free from the countless lies of Satan that have been imposed upon us.
Hope would abound. No one would suffer from depression, cynicism, or low expectations. Disappointments, if they did occur, would heal quickly.
We would all find God’s kingdom purposes for our lives on earth: no more aimlessness and no more focus on being great at unimportant things.
Everyone would know the peace of God. There would be no fear, and no more dissension or division, because we would all live together in God’s perfect love.
Marriage would be a sacred institution of God joining a man and woman together for the rest of their lives. Sex would be a sacred element of marriage. People not led to marriage would live rich, celibate lives filled with faith, close friends, and family. Broken homes and broken children would be no more, and, after one generation, sexually transmitted diseases would be no more.
There would be no poverty. Those who have would share with those who need and help them find opportunity.
Each person, young and old, would walk in joy with the Lord throughout every day. And our community’s prayers for the rest of the nation and world would bear much fruit.
After twelve years, l am still gripped by the awareness this “imagining” we had done is achievable, not by politics but by prayer, discipleship, and evangelism. This isn’t false hope. This is what God wants for us.
Isn’t there at least one person in our community who could draw so close to God these Kingdom realities become their lifestyle? Of course there is.
And if one person could do it, could not two, or a family, or small group of friends, or congregation, and beyond? God is for us. Who can stand against us?
Perhaps the greatest lie imposed upon the Church is the lie of low expectations. The Lord would never ask us to pray for something He was not ready to do. He told us the Kingdom was among us and within us. He told us to pray for His Kingdom to come here just like it is in heaven. Do we believe Him or not?
I urge us all to pray “Thy Kingdom come…” with faith, deep desire and eager expectancy. Then seek each day to be part of that prayer’s answer.
God bless you and God bless our community.