The Kingdom Not of This World

I came late to Facebook, and for good reason: to this onlooker it seemed social media had pulled people into a virtual vortex, draining much of their precious time. At the urging of my publisher, though, I took the plunge—and as it turned out, right into the icy waters of the Fall 2016 presidential campaign, where “friended” folks could be found screaming at each other in digital decibels of deafening tones. Some were actually climbing out of the pool for respite, exhausted by relentless shouts of “Marco” on the left and the reliable retorts of “Polo” on the right. Yet as I posted to my blog over the ensuing weeks and months, exploring Biblical truths in a relatable way, I noticed a shared warmth of response among its readers, a meeting of hearts and minds of believers in Christ from across a broad spectrum of political persuasion. Their comments (and emoticons, of course) revealed universal longings in individual souls and their unity in a King they share in common.

Standing before Pilate, Jesus confirmed His reign in a higher place of greater authority; “My kingdom is not of this world,”1 He told the Roman governor. Certainly, the Kingdom of which He spoke has proximity, for Jesus once said, “I have come down from heaven,”2 and before returning to the Father, He promised His followers, “I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”3 Yet the Biblical connotation of “kingdom” refers foremost to God’s kingship—His rightful rule in human hearts. He reigns in a measureless expanse and also in the repentant soul, as He himself spoke through Isaiah, “For this is what the high and exalted One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.’”4

When we pray, “Thy Kingdom come,” we petition God for His kingship—His rule and reign in our heart. “Our Father, govern in our heart today; we would submit to you,” we might say. We look forward to the day in a place where finally there is no more death, mourning, crying or pain5, yet God’s place of authority in our heart is as ever-present a need as is our daily bread. So today we pray …

Our Father in heaven, you are holy. Send your Spirit to rule in our heart today. Govern us, good King, for we would submit to you. In Jesus’ name we pray as one. Amen.

1 John 18:36
2 John 6:38
3 John 14:3
4 Isaiah 57:15
5 Revelation 21:4

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