What is the Kingdom of God?
"Seek the KINGDOM of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need." Matthew 6:33
In my journey with the Lord, I have often read this verse. For years, I skipped straight to the last section of the verse, "He will give you everything you need." Everyone can understand the concept of having your needs fulfilled. However, this verse has three distinct parts.
1.) Seek God's Kingdom First
2.) Live right
3.) He will give you what you need.
At first glance, this sounds pretty straight forward. However, time and time again, I would find myself stuck on the first point, "Seek God's kingdom." I could relate to the idea of seeking God. The "kingdom" was very abstract for my mind to comprehend. Although we could choose to just focus on the second two parts, and gloss over the first, I believe God wants us to have a deeper understanding. It's difficult to gain true victory in an area that is vague or that you lack understanding of. In my quest, to learn about the kingdom of God (also called the kingdom of heaven), I discovered that Jesus is recorded over 100 times throughout the Gospels, mentioning this concept of the kingdom of God. This tells us how absolutely vital He believed this was for His followers to understand. Although I believe this topic would consist of books worth of knowledge, I will leave you with four basic principles to begin or add to your understanding of the kingdom of God.
1.) God is the king.
The kingdom of God is real. Although we cannot physically see it at the moment, the kingdom of God in our lives starts with the recognition that God is the sovereign king of all the universe. It starts with recognizing that He is the supreme ruler, above every other, PERIOD. His words are final and His decrees are eternal. And as with any king, He requires honor, reverence, and adherence to His every one of His decrees.
Psalm 93: 1-2 The Lord is king. He is clothed with majesty and strength.The earth is set firmly in place and cannot be moved. Your throne, O Lord, has been firm from the beginning, and you existed before time began.
Psalm 47:7 For the kingdom is the LORD'S And He rules over the nations.
2.) Citizenship requires being born again
The kingdom of God is a holy kingdom. It is not one that everyone is a part of by the mere fact that they have breath in their body. Membership is voluntary and requires an acceptance of the King. In order to be a part of the kingdom, you MUST be born again. In other words, you must have made a choice to accept Jesus into your heart as your Savior and as Lord.
Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time to be born?” Jesus answered “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh is born of flesh, but spirit is born of the Spirit. John 3:2-6
3.) Being a member of the Kingdom entitles you to benefits
When you accept Jesus into your heart, you become a part of the kingdom of God. You literally become a child of the King. As a child of the King, you are entitled to privileges that are not for others. A life of unmerited favor, the ability to heal others, an abundant life, the authority to "bind and loose" and more are a part of your inheritance as the child of the King. Additionally, you can come to His throne boldly and receive forgiveness, grace, and what you need. This is not because of who YOU are, it is because you are connected to the King. As with a natural kingdom, being a child of a king means you are royalty.
"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 18:18
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16
I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. Psalm 37:25
4.) Sonship comes with a responsibility
As with a natural kingdom, being a child of a king means you are royalty. Being royalty comes with a certain level of responsibility. You are literally representing the King at every moment. Not only this, you are required by the King to tell ALL about the kingdom. This responsibility is given to you because He desires that all men would come to Him. He is using you as an ambassador to tell the world of the kingdom. How you live your walk with Christ will be a direct reflection of the God you serve. I urge each of you to take this responsibility with seriousness. I believe this is a part of why the Lord tells us to "seek first the kingdom of God, and live righteously." He recognizes that it's not enough to be born again. Living right or righteously shows our King that we are fully committed to being a part of what He is doing on earth. We are not just following Christ for the benefits, but consciously seeking Him in every area of our life.
2 Corinthians 5:20- So we are Christ's ambassadors; God is making his appeal to us. We speak for Christ when we plead, "Come back to God!
Luke 9:2- Then He sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
As you continue to learn about what it means to seek God and His kingdom, I urge you to dig deeper in your personal time with God. God desires you to not only see Him as Savior, but also as the King. Although it may be daunting to think of Him as King, never forget that He is an intimate God. He invites you to boldly ask for what we need and always seek Him first. He desires for us to have everything we need and to place our eyes on Him as we navigate the world around us.
This article is a part of the Victory Speaks, "Seek First" series. For more on seeking God first, click here.