Whatever else it is, the kingdom of God is the realm where God rules. Because He is sovereign, it could be said that the whole universe is His kingdom, but that doesn’t seem to fit the way the Bible uses this term. Rather than being a territory, it is God’s rule over people, a rule that is “within” us rather than a place where we live.
This kingdom is one of righteousness. That is, if I am ‘in it’ then the righteousness of God is in me and has changed the focus and motivation of my life. This ‘kingdom’ determines what is valuable to me and what I consider the purpose of my life. These values are radically different from those I had before an encounter with Jesus Christ changed everything.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3–5)
Entering the kingdom is described as a rebirth to new life. This new life is eternal and immediate but also reserved, protected and guarded until that day that I am with Jesus forever.
But being in God’s kingdom is not just a future hope. It is right now. Jesus tells His followers:
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Luke 12:32–34)
He repeats it: “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20) and promises me that as I go after kingdom living and the righteousness of God, He will take care of all my needs: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
This restores me to what He designed His people to be, but also restores the joy that sin tends to ruin. Tozer says the Holy Spirit “restrings” my harp and brings happiness instead of fretting and sorrow. He says, “Happiness is nothing but that inward sweet delight, which will arise from the harmonious agreement between our wills and the will of God.”
Jesus, as I consider all this, I’m joyful to be a child of the Kingdom, but I’m also sad that so many people believe the lie that God is a kill-joy and faith in You is a burden. Nothing could be farther from the truth! When You moved in, everything changed and life became an adventure. You are the King who loves to bless me and always holds hand.