The Kingdom of God; May 13, 2022

Matthew 12:28 “But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”

This is a good example of the meaning of the term, the kingdom of God. We are prone to think of it in geographical terms, just as Putin has been trying to extend Russia into Ukraine, reestablishing the Russian Empire. However, a careful reading of the Bible, and especially the New Testament, gives a very different picture. Geographically God is everywhere, since He is infinite, so our human categories just don’t fit. His “kingdom” is where His rule and reign are acknowledged and established. The whole concept is integral to the confession, Jesus is Lord. The Roman emperors claimed that title for themselves, and declaring someone else to be Lord was saying you were under a different authority than Rome, and they couldn’t abide that. That was the whole justification for the murderous persecution they conducted against believers, and it’s the reason for the persecution Chinese believers, for example, undergo today. Totalitarian regimes can’t stand rivals! Here Jesus was pointing out, very logically, that His delivering people from demons by God’s Spirit meant that God’s authority was being manifested, whether the Pharisees liked it or not. We would see more manifestations of God’s authority, His kingdom, if we ourselves were more fully submitted to that authority. We take “Jesus is Lord” far too lightly!

I’m preaching to myself here. I know this truth in my head, but it is still being worked out in my heart. I need to be submitted to the Lordship of Christ each moment of each day, taking my orders from Him and not submitting to the world or the devil. I have earnestly desired that God pour His Spirit out on this nation, just as I will be speaking about Sunday, but I’ve got to be fully submitted to that Spirit myself, on every level. My flesh can be remarkably stubborn! This isn’t at all a matter of being “so heavenly minded I’m no earthly good,” as someone once put it, but of living through the nitty gritty of life as Jesus did, not yielding to temptations but accurately representing His heart, His character, in every interaction. When I pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done,” I’ve got to put feet on that and practice it myself.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Today is unstructured for me, as far as my schedule goes. Help me actively seek Your plans for each moment, whether the activity seems “spiritual” or not, so that indeed Your will may be done on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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