One night as I prayed, the Holy Spirit spoke Matthew 6:33 vividly to my heart:
But seek first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
I was a young Christian at that time and I don’t remember if I even knew where that scripture was. So, I thought (although I did not say it aloud) ” I got this.” I did not have it—I did not have the spiritual maturity, the discernment or the wisdom to know what that meant. I also lacked the insight “to study to show myself approved to God” (2 Timothy 2:15) before I made that statement.
What is the kingdom of God? Well, according to Romans 14:17, it is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. It is not a set of rules and regulations, nor is it religion.
However, as I continue to study the kingdom of God, I am discovering that it is so much more than even Romans 14:17—so much more. God’s kingdom is not temporal. God’s kingdom is not a limited territory restricted by man-made boundaries. God kingdom is not governed by flawed human beings. God, the omnipotent, the sovereign authority, has an eternal kingdom and his Son, Jesus, reigns as King. Those who submit to the headship of Jesus are the subjects in the kingdom of God.
Also, the Bible shows us that God’s kingdom “was” and “is” and “is to come.” Take a look with me at scriptural references about the kingdom of God.
The kingdom of God “was” manifested with Jesus’ arrival on the earth. It was John the Baptist who proclaimed Jesus’ arrival by declaring that the kingdom of God was with us. (The advent of John the Baptist and his declaration also ended the old covenant. The New Testament began with Jesus’ crucifixion.) In Matthew 3:2, John the Baptist, while in the wilderness of Judea, preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven (synonymous with kingdom of God) has come near.” Jesus, in his own ministry, also, begins to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matthew 4:17) Jesus states, in Mark 1:15, that, “The time has come,” . . . “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” When asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus answered them with, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is, because the kingdom of God is in your midst.'” Jesus first coming was the kingdom that had come.
The kingdom of God “is” within us when we acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior. Colossians 1: 13 states that, “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” When the people brought little children to Jesus, He said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” The kingdom of God lives in those who are born again as Jesus notes in John 3:5, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.”
The kingdom “is to come.” Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10–part of the Lord’s Prayer) It is the Lord’s desire that the will of God will be manifested here on earth as it is in heaven. In addition, Matthew 25:31 is an end-time vision of Jesus’ return (it is not a parable). When Jesus returns, he will separate the people into two camps, the sheep and the goats. He sends the goats (those who did not mercy to or help to the needy, the homeless, the fatherless, the poor and the imprisoned) to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (v 41) The eternal fire was not originally prepared for God’s people. He then rewards the sheep, the righteous ones—for their mercy, care and kindness to those who were hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, sick and imprisoned. He welcomes the sheep into the kingdom of God “prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (v 34)
The kingdom of God is transcendent and is not limited by time or man-made constructs. It “was” with the first coming of Jesus. It “is” within those who accept and submit to the Lordship of Jesus. It “is to come” with the return of Jesus in the fullness of time.
With that said, seeking first the kingdom of God and its righteousness is first priority. We must seek it with our hearts, souls and might. When we do this, everything else will fall into place. When we place ourselves under the kingship of Jesus (and with that comes the counsel of the Holy Spirit), all that we need will be supplied to us, developed within us and manifested through us, my friends.
There is so much to be shared about the kingdom of God. I have only touched on it briefly here. The exploration of the kingdom of God is so exciting! I hope to share more in the future.
I decree blessings, restoration and breakthroughs for each of you in this new year!