What Is The Kingdom of God?

Posted by on Jan 19, 2018 in Can You Tell Me?, Spiritual Growth | 0 comments

What Is The Kingdom of God?

In 1985, when my husband was  in depression again, I found it very painful. One morning I knelt beside our bed and poured out my heart to the Lord. I found myself praying, “Lord, will you send Frans to us?”

Who was Frans? An ordinary engineer who lived in Europe, Franz Schadee (Bible Mission International) had been touched by the Lord in a Billy Graham Crusade and sensed God’s direction to take food, warm clothing, and Bibles to people on the other side of the Iron Curtain. A compatriot of the renowned Bible smuggler, Brother Andrew, Frans found ways to penetrate the Iron Curtain and meet the needs of suffering people.

Between his secret forays he often flew to the United States to renew his spirit, teach, and raise support for his ministry. When in the BostonCross sunburst area, Frans sometimes stayed with us. As we sat around our table, we listened to his miraculous stories of God’s divine guidance and intervention as he traveled to the people in Romania, Poland, Eastern Germany, and Hungary.

We’d not seen him in several years. But here I am praying, “Lord, please bring Frans to us.”

A few hours later the phone rang. It was Frans! He was in the Boston area and had felt impressed to find us. Calling a mutual friend in Milwaukee, he’d gotten our new phone number. We arranged to get together that evening in a restaurant.

As we sat around the table that evening, we caught up on each our lives and then told him about Jerry’s depression. Frans had only one thing to say, but he said it over and over and over: “Seek the kingdom of God and everything else you want shall be given to you.”

As he spoke, the presence of God fell on us like a cloud of glory and hung over our table. I still remember the feeling of the presence of God as he hovered over us as I listened to his words:

Do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ Or ‘What shall we drink?’…. But (continually) seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:32-33).

There is much confusion about the kingdom of God. Many people think it is referring to heaven; others, the church. One radio caller church doorsaid to me, “I often pray, ”Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ But I always thought that I was praying for God’s kingdom to come to be in the world; I never thought about it as coming inside of me. Isn’t it selfish to pray for God’s kingdom to be in me?”

Another time a friend in Germany remarked, “Judith, I’ve never heard these things before. I’ve gone to church for many years, but no one has taught me this. I thought the kingdom of God was my church. So I pushed myself to go to everything they offered, to do things for them. I did not know the Kingdom of God is within us.”

Here are some scriptures I pondered in my search to understand the kingdom of God:

  • When the Pharisees asked when the kingdom of God was coming, Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed (something you can see with your natural senses); nor will they say, ‘Look here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For behold the Kingdom of God is in your midst (within you)” (Luke 17:20-21).
  • The Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Ro 14:17).
  • The Kingdom of God does not consist in word, but in power (I Co 4:20).
  • For He delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Co 1:13).
  • How blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee; In whose heart are the highways to Zion (Ps 84:5).

A friend’s recent revelation of the two kingdoms:

I woke in the morning, and do as I often do on waking, listen to my heart. I ask Jesus to be present and listen too. Quietly, I see myself sitting at a table. Jesus is across from me. In my heart I feel a weight of despair, defeat, even a kind of death, certainly a lack of life. Suddenly, I see an alternative: I have a choice—a choice between hope, life, and healing; or despair, defeat, and darkness. It was as clear as a bell!

The kingdom of God is peace and  joy and begins within us, not outside us. This is the cutting edge of spiritual growth: learning to know the differences between the two kingdoms and choosing which kingdom we will function in.

To learn more about the kingdom of God, download my handout, “Understanding The Kingdom of God” from my Teaching Notes page.

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