I want to turn our attention to God’s Kingdom – what it is, what it means to us – and what that understanding might motivate us to do!
Father, release understanding today of Your Kingdom and stir our hearts to live FROM the wonders of Your realm!
I. WHAT IS HIS KINGDOM? His domain, sphere, realm, place where He holds and exercises authority and power. The Bible clearly teaches that He is a SOVEREIGN GOD – Who RULES over all things in heaven and on earth. He is high and lifted up above all His creation – He is the Most High, the King over all!
Sovereignty is absolute authority –
In Is 46:9-11 God describes His own sovereignty:
For I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure…Indeed I have spoken; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.
Job describes it this way: I know that You can do everything and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. Job 42:2
After his 7 year judgment, Neb’s reason was restored and he praises and honors God who he declares has an everlasting dominion,… He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him ‘what have you done?’” Dan 4:35
God’s domain includes both the physical worlds and the whole spiritual realm – we know little of the vastness and wonders of His Kingdom!
The Word tells us that it is limitless, ever-increasing, and incomprehensibly abundant! His domain, the place of His rule, is unshakeable, cannot be destroyed, remains forever !
Think of it -- where the Sovereign God is reigning, there are no limits, there is no lack, no end! His realm is another dimension not governed by time and space.
Is 9:7 Of the INCREASE of His government and peace there will be no end.– His Kingdom rule will be increasing for all eternity – and the effect of that will be shalom = complete well-being for all He rules!!
II. WHAT IS THE KINGDOM LIKE?
NT says K is righteousness, peace (shalom, complete wellbing), joy and - Romans 14:17 and power 1 Co 4:20
God rules over all --but we do not see this righteousness, peace, joy and power reigning here! Why not? The parables of the Kingdom show us that
at the present time there is MIXTURE in the K
(Mt13) -- wheat and tares, leaven, good and bad fish
(mt22) --there are people unwilling or actively hostile to the wedding invitation or unprepared to sit down at wedding feast
(Mt25) -some wise, some foolish, some servants are faithful and some are unfaithful
God’s Kingdom has ALREADY come to some –those who are humble and obedient and love their King, are committed Kingdom citizens,
BUT it has NOT YET come in fullness - there are some in the kingdom evil people actually working against the K under the prince of this world system –
YET the SOVEREIGN GOD still RULES --
….it is still HIS Kingdom and ALL things are under His authority!
He is allowing these mixed conditions – temporarily, for a season – for His purposes. (His ways are not our ways!!)
At the End there will be a great separation of the wheat and tares, a sorting out of the good from the bad!
Mt 13:49 Jesus said: So it will be at the end of the age, the angels will come and separate the wicked from among the just
Mt 22 – the King sends out his armies to destroy those resisters and sends the unprepared one into outer darkness. v7,13
Mt 25 ends with the travelling landowner making a distinction between those who served his purposes - did their job –> these enter into the joy of their lord! the servant who failed to work for his master’s purposes lost everything and was cast out.
At the End comes the separation of sheep and goat nations – those who have followed the Great Shepherd of the sheep will inherit the Kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world! (Mt 25:34)
God’s intent from before creation was to SHARE HIS KINGDOM with many sons. The Father is PLEASED to GIVE us the Kingdom (Luke 12:32). Kingdom Life is a GIFT, but parables reveal that to enter K living there are requirements. There is a narrow path, a groaning way to be embraced:
III.. HOW CAN WE SHARE IN THIS KINGDOM?
What is required to inherit (not earn!) entrance to life in this glorious eternal Kingdom?
- we have to be born from above to even SEE the K–( Jn 3:3) -new birth is the basic requirement! We must be born again sons of the K
- we have to be childlike in order to ENTER – simple trust and dependence, with the meekness, humility and faith of God’s own Son (Mk 10:14,15, Mt 5:3,10, 7:21, Luke 18:17)
- we have to be hungry - truly desperate to make His K our great desire, focus, goal (Mt 6:33) = willing
to take drastic measures (pluck out eye, cut off hand Mk
to go on through many tribulations to enter in! Acts 14:22
- we have to whole-hearted – leave all = no looking back (Lk 9:62), no holding on to possessions or even family MORE than to our King.(Lk 18:29) Fully submitted and longing for His will to be done. (Mt 7:21, 8:22,) Seeking 1st His K and righteous = means make it our highest desire to live fully under Him and become LIKE Him, the R One!
- we have to develop an awareness of the K which is already within us! Jesus said (Luke 17:21 AMP) behold, the Kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] = it is present in our spirits– the invisible Kingdom realm of God all around us and inside us. Easy to picture it as up there – which it is! – but we need to be AWARE that it is also IN HERE!
The kingdom within = the rule of the King is HERE in our inner man… present always! The Kingdom is accessible to us and
the Kingdom is active in us !
Too often we are not conscious of that REALITY!
Neville Johnson spoke of our need of this awareness a few years ago – how the lack of awareness limits our spirits. All that is in the K is available now – it is within us – but because we are so
much more aware of the world around us than the K within us,we fail to receive the benefits that are ours!
Our spirits are the point of access to this spiritual realm. Our spirits are birthed FROM the Kingdom of heaven – that is our native land - our spirits are at home there.
We need to begin to pay more attention to and respond to the K within us … so that we hear and see with our spirits what is happening in the K realm. Not only conscious of the physical world around us and our souls’ reactions – we can learn to let our spirits dominate over our souls = consciously living as spiritual people – drawing on and depending on the resources of the Kingdom rather than the abilities of our souls or the resources of this world.
How do we do that?
PRACTICE! When something arises – some pain, anxiety, hard place -TURN in thought and heart to our King (on His Throne and within us! and ask to see this thing from a Kingdom perspective! Remind ourselves that no matter how we FEEL or what it LOOKS like, HE IS ON THE THRONE and every resource of Heaven is ours IN HIM.
When we intentionally pursue a greater consciousness of the Kingdom within we will be changed!
AS we become more aware of this immeasurable inner well -- we will learn to live FROM it. And to MAINTAIN the mindset of grateful depedence: we are Kingdom citizens, living His way for His pleasure and glory.
The more we learn to submit to His rule within, the more we will begin to access the atmosphere and supply of the Kingdom!.
Where God RULES, His power can be released – it can be entrusted to those who are genuinely seeking HIS will and purpose.
The Father wants to GIVE us the Kingdom Luke 11:32
It is His pleasure to bless us with what it contains …
SO He is continually at work to create yielding, trusting, hungry hearts…He is working to
INCREASE the measure of His rule in us SO He can increase the release of K resources
and authority to us!
Jesus, as Man, lived fully submitted– He lived by faith, from the riches of the K. The same supply is available for us in our ordinary lives. But we cannot be passive if we want to access these! They are received by ACTIVE faith - faith that is exercised in asking and seeking!
It is in our times of need that we ACTIVELY seek Him for K supply – we realize our need, our helpless dependence – and this is where God wants us: not as an end but as a means to increase our trusting submission to Him. As always, He wants to empty us of independent selfish living SO He can FILL us with Himself and open up K riches in our lives –> which we can use to advance His Kingdom on earth!
HE USES the difficulties of life as opportunities for us to discover His abounding grace, to come to know His K resources and learn to live out of them by faith.
What would happen if we did that fully? WE would become a display of our Father’s K for world to see! That is His plan – to so transform us with K character as we receive His rule within that we can actually REVEAL HIM to others!
We can ONLY become what He desires when we GIVE HIM HIS RIGHTFUL PLACE of RULE in our hearts.
He’s looking for burning hearts that PURUSE what our King wants MORE than what we want! Joyful hearts focused on HIS goals, not our own!
We are on earth for this purpose:
to live aligned to God’s Kingdom SO that we can
advance His rule and
accomplish His will on earth!
God wants to USE every day, where I am, to move me into His purpose for me –I must choose to let HIS desire govern me – This is the key to partnering with Him in the glorious work He wants to do!
IV. PRACTICAL STARTING POINTS:
#1 PRAY WHAT JESUS TOLD US TO PRAY: ask our Father earnestly - with sincere desire not just by rote - for His Kingdom to come, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Mt 6:10, k 11:2
we know that His Kingdom IS coming – inexorably no matter what sinful angels and men may do! But He wants us to cry: Your sovereign rule come! Your will done here as in heaven!
If it’s going to come anyway, why do we need to pray this?
Because asking for His will ALIGNS our hearts with His heart!
This is key! – it is in prayer that we get adjusted, that our preoccupations and selfish desires are subdued and shifted to HIS Kingdom purposes! Then we will truly seek FIRST HIS K and R!
Mt 7:7 – Then Jesus told us to keep on ASKING, keep on SEEKING, keep on KNOCKING – FOR WHAT?– for His Kingdom – our #1 priority -- to come MORE fully in us, around us and through us!
v.8 IF we keep on this pursuing His K and His R 1st – we will receive what we ask for, we will find what we are seeking and doors of the K will be opened to us! All the good things of the K that are in His hand are for those who persistently and trustingly ASK Him!
Our daily joyful heartfelt cry should be: “May Your rule increase here today!” à BY this PRAYER - we become passionate about being a part of bringing this Kingdom in fuller measure to earth!
PRAY and WORK FOR WHAT JESUS DIED TO OBTAIN
Hebrews 11:39 AMP And all of these, though they won divine approval by [means of] their faith, did not receive the fulfillment of what was promised.
Jesus has not YET fully received all that the Father promised Him before the foundation of the world. He does not YET reign in His kingdom here with HiS holy Bride! He is still waiting and longing for this Day.
Jesus came to recover God’s sovereign rule here and secure His inheritance. The kingdoms of this world are the Son’s inheritance. Our part is to INVEST in prayer for Him to have His FULL inheritance!
WE are also to give every nation EVIDENCE of Jesus’ rule and invite them to enter His K. To do this we have to be people who exhibit His nature and operate in His power…we are to give concrete evidence that Jesus is on the Throne of heaven – by our character, oneness and authority over the kingdom of darkness. Tangible proof that His K is real – because it is within us and being expressed by us!
As we do this, we will be cooperating with angels – learning to discern their presence and work with them in unison for the Kingdom – they are K resource for us to do this work. We are to hasten the day (2 Peter 3:12) – looking, praying and living for the Day when Jesus will receive the full reward of the travail of His soul! (Is 53:11)
Satan does not want this to happen! Still working to frustrate God’s purpose in the Cross. Daniel battled for God's purpose for His people to be fulfilled– how? In prayer -- his prayer roused hell and released K resources to accomplish God’s will!
SEEK TO HEAR AND UNDERSTAND WORD OF THE KINGDOM
Mt 13:19 – [Jesus is explaining parable of sower] When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.
There is a much in the Word for us to discover about the K – it is the realm in which we will live in joy for eternity! Seems like a good idea to focus on it now and seek God for deeper revelation.
Daniel 12:4 command to shut up the words and seal the book UNTIL the time of the end; many shall run to and fro (searching) and knowledge (of His purposes) shall increase. UNTIL = mysteries of the Kingdom will be revealed – God is releasing understanding set apart for us in the End time!
Paul asked God to give the spirit of wisdom and revelation to the Ephesian believers (Eph 1:17,18) – we are meant to pray for this as he did. à ASK for enlightened eyes to KNOW HIM and
His call to live in the Kingdom of God,
His inheritance which is Kingdom sons (conformed to His Son), and
His resurrection power – the power inherent in His glorious Kingdom!
v. 21 our King is seated in the place of highest authority –far above ALL principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come!
This glorious K is accessible and we have a right, as born from that K and united to the King, to access, explore and understand our salvation to the full….which means the fullness of God filling all in all.
KNOW our part is for Jesus to rule in us SO He can rule through us –THEN Jesus will be revealed to the world!
At this time, the King is revealing Himself THROUGH His people -
THEN He will come in glory to reign for 1,000 years and restore all things! And after that will come
1 Cor 15:24 the end, when He delivers the Kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and authority and power that which has been given a short time in God’s wisdom purposes but will be utterly destroyed! THEN v.29 God will be all in all!
CARRY OUT OUR MANDATE what is it?
Luke 9:2 – Jesus sent us out to preach the kingdom of God and heal the sick
Mt 28:19,20 – commanded us to go under His Kingdom authority and make disciples of all the nations
Acts 1:8 –commissioned to be His witnesses by the Holy Spirit with Kingdom power, …to the ends of the earth.
Mt 24:14 – says when we have preached the gospel of the Kingdom in all the world as a witness to all the nations and then the end will come
OUR MANDATE = CARRY THE GOOD NEWS OF GOD’S KINGDOM – PROCLAIM AND DEMONSTRATE IT WITH KINGDOM POWER AND AUTHORITY TO ALL THE NATIONS IN THE WHOLE WORLD
PREACH GOSPEL OF KINGDOM: What is this gospel?
- God invites all men into His family to live rightly related to Him by the blood of Jesus!
- Those who accept His offer learn to live by His law of love. They bow before Him as the Great King Who rules within
- They tell others that His return is near when He will bring His perfect government to earth and live with men made new.
BE AGENTS of KINGDOM: K has been given to us to give to others!
- we are to dispense K resources = salvation, healing, deliverance, peace, joy, love, food, water, authority over chaos and storms, etc
- We do this BY FAITH – we can rule over earth conditions by believing every abundant resource of the Kingdom of heaven is present and ours to access and release here. When we have learned to have victory over soul-thoughts, when we refuse to let our minds sink into reasoning...we can rule over our circumstances by faith in our spirits. When our King really rules IN us, then He can use us to bring restoration of the goodness of His Kingdom to earth.
- we can bring K authority and power into every place – no boundaries! like Him we can walk ABOVE storms and waves. He wants to rule over every circumstance through us who are actively living by faith-obedience to our King –then His Kingdom is evident – obvious! REAL! - to all!
We will be preaching the Kingdom when we allow Jesus to do His works through us…LET HIM USE us to demonstrate that there is a KING on the Throne of heaven ready to bring perfect wisdom and immense love to His domain. By our YIELDED lives we can make the attributes of the King and His Kingdom known, display its design and order and release it wherever we are!
Can we even imagine a greater privilege and destiny than to be chosen to participate in the release of His glory until it fills the earth?!
To turn nations to the Father through our joyful, willing obedience in HS power!
To advance His government of love and peace – displacing all else!
This CAN happen AS His love and peace governs US – our minds and hearts settled without anxiety UNDER His perfect rule!
People all around us are hungry for spiritual reality – it is the gaping hole in their innermost being that cannot be satisfied with anything in this world. WE are to bring them the KINGDOM, the spiritual reality of God’s sovereignty.
Intentionally, increasingly and with intensity:
FIX our EYES on Jesus -in all the contrary circumstances
SET our HEARTS to understand all He wants to reveal about the mystery of the K of heaven within us
PRESS IN and keep on = WAR to access MORE! WE are God’s means to advance His Kingdom and bring His blessings to earth!
WE MUST CONTEND because we are opposed – enemy doing everything he can to halt our growth, prevent our training, keep us from fulfilling God’s plan. He will send trials, distress, persecution, famine, dangers of all kinds…YET in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us!Ro 8:37 This One is KING over all!
WE ARE HIS -- DESIGNED AND DESTINED TO LIVE WITH HIM IN HIS KINGDOM (NOW AND FOREVER) IN HOLY FEAR OF THE LORD!
God has already SET HIS KING on His holy hill of Zion (Ps 2:6)
As Daniel saw -
One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven!…to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away. His Kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed. Dan 7:13,14
v. 18 the saints of he Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever!
….we are receiving [NOW – present tense] a kingdom which cannot be shaken,--- let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. Hebrews 12:28
SERVE God = fulfill His commission to preach and demonstrate K power and authority world wide.
Let’s get aligned with His purpose SO we can fully PARTNER with Him in bringing in the harvest of souls at the end of the age – to give our King His desire :
Many sons brought to glory
WITH WHOM HE CAN DWELL FOR ETERNITY Rev 21:3
LORD, may we enter, enjoy and expand Your Kingdom MORE than ever before!
Work in us humble to fully yield and do Your will,
Work in us what Your own nature, making us true sons who can reveal the reality of Your Kingdom on earth!
May we fulfill the purposes in Your heart and bring You glory!
If you want to hear Marnie speaking this message at The Gathering Place in Hollywood, go to gathering place.us and find the media and her speaking time and listen to the full message.