LIVING LIFE THROUGH A KINGDOM LENS
In my work, where we address problems of children at risk, we are constantly talking about the need to collaborate to get things done. The issues surrounding children at risk are many and the only way we can make an impact of some significance is when we come together, look beyond the organisations we lead or head, and put our threads together. And that happens best if we have a kingdom perspective to life and ministry.
But to get there, I suppose, we have to begin with a more fundamental question. Why does God save us? What is His purpose for our life, after we are saved? Does God save us and leave us on earth simply to know and worship Him, or to gain health and personal wholeness? Certainly, these are things He desires for us, but surely we could worship and love Him far better, if we were in heaven with Him right away! Why then has He left us here? It is because Jesus calls us to the awesome privilege of fulfilling the kingdom work He began on earth!
Kingdom Of God
In day-to-day living, seeking God's kingdom goes against the grain. Many Christians today want to seek first the kingdom of God in their daily choices. However, most struggle with what it actually means to live for one kingdom, rather than the other. There are many reasons why it is true that we struggle to have a kingdom mindset.
Christians can go through life unaware of the two opposing kingdoms, the distinctions between them and the battle which is continually raging all around. Although we do not hear bullets whizzing past our heads, nor the sound of bombs exploding, Satan is constantly waging war against the army of our God and King. Not only does this destroy our relationship with God, but it also prevents non-Christians from coming into God's kingdom. Depending on the decisions we make, we are always siding with one or the other distinct kingdom. Ignorance of the existence of both kingdoms results in making wrong choices.
We do not have a frame of mind for God's kingdom because of a lack of role models. As we glance around, it looks as if most Christians are living and making decisions just like anybody else. Without thinking, many are living according to the principles and standards of the society around them. Occasionally, the difficulty is with us. While we profess to live for Christ, we nevertheless don't want to give up power or security to do this. We rationalise Christ's words, "Whoever wants to save his own life will lose it," and instead, believe Satan's lie that we need to take care of ourselves. It takes a renewed mind to recognise the fact that depending on Christ, for work in His kingdom, is the smartest and most satisfying choice we can ever make.
Our renewed mind first shows itself in our day-to-day choices. In the past, we made decisions in the light of our own purpose and goals in life. Now we first study how our decisions influence our role in the execution of His desires. Little by little, as we yield our wills, and lose ourselves in Him, we find life. The disparity between a possible approach and a kingdom approach does not automatically lead to the actual conclusion. Rather, it is in the objective and the end goal. Two people could end up making the same choice, one in search of his/her own kingdom first and the other on the lookout for God first.
Kingdom living is demanding, with phases of ambiguity and pain. It is energising, but always deeply taxing. It will meet the desires of our heart. To become a part of God's army is a privilege indeed!