Through out the night I was thinking about “the Kingdom of God.” A kingdom is where a king rules, so the Kingdom of God is where God, Himself rules. God’s rule doesn’t happen much on Earth, because of man’s rebellion. In our efforts for personal freedom, we have overthrown God’s rule and chosen to follow our own will–to rule our own life. That’s why Jesus taught us to pray: “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Jesus frequently proclaimed: “The Kingdom of God (God’s rule) is at hand (right here with us),” because He was the Eternal King in the flesh and because the Holy Spirit was soon to be released across the Earth. Still, I have a choice. I can choose my will (my rule) and resist God’s will (His rule/Kingdom), or I can surrender to God’s will (God’s rule/Kingdom) and resist (die to) my own will (my rule).
When two or three people who are seeking first God’s rule (see Matthew 6:33) gather together, Jesus is present with them (see Matthew 18:20) As they surrender their rule and begin to follow and obey the living Jesus, the Kingdom (rule) of God comes into the meeting and it is no longer directed by human control or agendas, but by the living Jesus, Himself.
Dear Jesus, when we meet in Your name, may we not resist Your will by controlling things and keeping the meeting within our comfort zone. Instead, may we all do what Your mother said: “Whatever He says to you, do it,” regardless of our comfort level. .
So, what is the Kingdom of God? Romans 14:17 defines it: “For the kingdom of God (the direct rule of God) is not food and drink (religious rules and/or control); but righteousness (inner surrender to God’s will), and peace (the absence of conflict and contention and resisting God’s will), and joy in the Holy Spirit (inner rivers of ‘living water’).”
“Rome crucified Jesus because of His claim to be king. The charge was posted over His head, after all. What is often overlooked, however, is that it is precisely because of their allegiance to that king—Jesus—that Rome persecuted His followers. Jesus’ followers did not stop with recognizing Him as divine; they had the audacity to claim He was their actual sovereign. In short, while the Jews preserved their religion by shouting, ‘We have no king but Caesar,’ the early Christians sealed their fate by unabashedly declaring, ‘We have no king but Jesus!’” ―Christopher Gorton