Thy Kingdom Come

Luke 17:20-21 KJV

20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

‘…Is within you…”- This is capable of two interpretations.

  1. The reign of God is “in the heart.” It does not come with pomp and splendour, like the reign of temporal kings, merely to control the external “actions” and strike the senses of people with awe, but it reigns in the heart by the law of God; it sets up its dominion over the passions, and brings every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
  2. It may mean the new dispensation is “even now among you.” The Messiah has come. John has ushered in the kingdom of God, and you are not to expect the appearance of the Messiah with great pomp and splendour, for he is now among you. Most critics at present incline to this latter interpretation. The ancient versions chiefly follow the former.

There are those among us that believe that the arrival of the Kingdom of God, was heralded by the ministry of Jesus, via John, as option 2 above.

My own personal understanding is as option 1 above.

Whichever option we choose is up to us and I would not engage in an academic discussion as to which understanding is correct.

Being fully immersed at baptism in a Pentecostal denomination, I had followed option two. After a few years I left denominational fellowship and decided to, “go it on my own.” I spent eighteen years in the mission field before I had personal clarity about the Kingdom of God ‘within me’. This clarity worked for me and has done since that time.

Never before has the love of God been so realistic to me.(a useful note here; I started to search for God at the age of twelve years.)

Not only in a spiritual sense, but in a strong practical sense, on a day-to-day basis do I enjoy the thrill of God’s presence. I don’t preach or teach anymore, and I don’t know if I ever will again. If I did, I could only say, “God is within me, He is my inner being.”

I have come to the place of loving my fellow humans more than ever before and offer them assistance whenever, wherever and however possible. My prayer is that as His loves flows forth from me, others will desire that which has been given me so freely (Zech.8:23.)

My spiritual life is now very deep within me and I refer to the Protagonist of my life as ‘Father Coach’. I hope this expression won’t offend the more conventional among us. I call Him this because, He coaches me day and night, through work and play.

My use of words like Father, Him, He, are more in the secrecy of my heart, because I do not believe that one who is indescribable and whose works are far beyond the scope of my understanding can be caught up in the issues of sexism.

Whether you believe ‘in’ or ‘among’, ‘Father’ or ‘Mother’, ‘Him’ or ‘Her’; have peace, love your fellow humans; try not to judge anyone, enjoy and be grateful for the life you have been given.

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A Timeless Tale – Chapter Nineteen

Living a Life in the Kingdom of God – Continued

Managing Thoughts in our Minds.

Managing the thoughts in our minds is no picnic. It is an extremely difficult process and takes a great deal of focus and commitment.

In the process of managing thoughts, we have to navigate the minefield of our habits. We humans are creatures of habit. In the course of any twelve plus hour day, we unconscientiously follow many habits.

In her book, ‘Switch on your Brain’, Dr Caroline Leaf deals extensively with the issue of habits and how to separate those habits which are beneficial to the accomplishment of our goals and those habits which block the accomplishment of our goals.

I am a great believer in the process of examining our lifestyles, even to the point of physically listing things like thoughts and habits that we experience in any one day; analyzing the list and then focusing on removing negative thoughts and habits from our minds. Dr. Leaf offers a twenty one day “Detox Plan”, which is a plan to help people get rid of negative thoughts and habits. The Detox plan works on a basis of the fact that habits can be formed and eliminated over a twenty one day period.

I have mentioned in previous chapters, that, in the process of living in the Kingdom of God, here on this earth; God does not wave a magic wand of change, in response to our petitions for His support in us wanting to change our lifestyles. He wants US to use the faculties that He has given us, to bring about the necessary changes we desire in our lives. There is no quick-fix, magic wand solutions to living in the kingdom.

However, I also believe that God wants to coach us in this process.

In my day-to-day living, I call upon God frequently to ‘guide’ me in the many projects, large and small, I undertake. This very article, I am writing now, is as a result of my request for His guidance for me to produce words that will bring about life changing experience for those who read them.

What then are the essential faculties that He has given us as instruments to accomplish the changes that we want to see come about in our lives?

Firstly, there is our body, the magnificent collection of senses, mobility and physical responses to that most superb management system – our brain. Then there is the mind, or as the scripture refers to it – ‘the soul’. The soul consists of the emotion, will and intellect. Lastly there is the spirit, that most excellent device that hooks us up to communication with God.

If you give serious consideration to the power of the above faculties you will realize that the quick-fix, magic wand solution is not only non-existent, but put into the plainest language:  grossly immature thinking.

What we need to do is to take a closer look at the faculties God has given us and how we can best use each one, to keep us on the path of Kingdom Living and the ultimate benefits of health, wealth, peace and power in this life and eternal living in the next.

I will deal with these faculties in the following order:

  1. Body – The importance of our physical body and our gratitude for its function.
  2. Soul – Intellect, emotion and will.
  3. Spirit – The effective use of this vital channel for our communication to and from God.

In the next chapter, I will illustrate what is scripturally recommended for the successful function of the above faculties.

Please share this with your friends – you can never tell whose life might change, eternally, by your obedience to this request.

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