Summary: It’s rare to see Christians focus on the Kingdom of God. This is our biggest problem. It falls right into our adversary’s strategy of focusing on things that shouldn’t be our focus. Everything God has said and done relates to His Kingdom. This should be our focus and life’s pursuit.
Let’s say you were to somehow be able to compile and analyze data on the subject matter that is talked about on a regular basis in churches in your area. You were then able to rank them from most popular to least popular. How far do you think you’d have to go down the list before you got to the subject of the Kingdom of God? My bet is most of the time it would be pretty far.
Our adversary’s strategy
Unbeknownst to us, this coincides directly with our adversary’s strategy. You see, our adversary isn’t going to be most effective by trying to get us to focus on things that are overtly evil. Instead, the most effective strategy would be to get us to focus on things that are seemingly good. He wants us to focus on things that won’t necessarily further God’s eternal purpose on the earth. The enemy could get us to focus on things like prosperity, social justice, spiritual gifts and whatever other “its” you want to insert here.
These things in-and-of-themselves aren’t bad of course. The danger with “its” is they should always be by-products, not prime products. But, the enemy is good at getting people to make them the prime products, isn’t he? It’s what denominations are built on. I’m sure all of us can pull people and churches from our memory banks and recall how they were consistently talking about specific “its” all the time.
Maybe it’s the Pentecostal church you attended that always seemed to talk about the principle of sowing and reaping. Or maybe it’s the Baptist church you attended that always talked about the prospects of “going to hell.” Or it could even be the house church you attended that always talked about loving one another while rarely talking about the other 57 one anothers.
Your mileage may vary, but the problem is the same. These issues are all part of the Christian life. But they don’t advance the Kingdom when they’re the focus.
Our greatest need
That’s because these by-products are not the heart of our greatest need. That’s why Jesus rarely spoke about them. The environment that results in the by-products is. This is why He focused on the Kingdom of God. That’s why the constitution of the Kingdom has its primary focus on the kingdom of God.
The overarching theme of the Bible is God’s government colonizing a new physical realm through human ambassadors. It explains what happens to humanity when they live in the power of their own life and will. It also explains how humanity will function if God is their King and they live by His Spirit.
A sign that this is the case is their overwhelming commitment to keeping the King and His Kingdom the prime products. They keep all of the other things the by-products.
Our biggest problem is we’re not focused on the right things.
Here’s how Myles Monroe put it in his book Rediscovering the Kingdom…
One of the biggest problems in the Church is that we have gotten caught up in preaching something the Lord never told us to preach. He told us to preach the good news of the Kingdom…
…you cannot divorce the King from His Kingdom. It is really quite unfair to tell the world about Jesus Christ and the door that has been open to them without telling them about life on the other side of the door.
God’s restoration strategy
When Adam fell, humanity lost its connection to God’s Kingdom. Ever since, it’s been making vain attempts at regaining it by the power of human life through the pillars of fallen human civilization. These are religion, government, education, entertainment, etc. It’s a perpetual self-centered search for the Kingdom that never satisfies.
But God provided a way out of the perpetual downward spiral by completely restoring humanity’s connection to His Kingdom through Jesus. God’s strategy was to bring Adam back to earth through the 2nd man to make the reconnection back to His government. That strategy was seen as early as His promise to the adversary in Genesis 3:15…
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.
Everything in the Bible from the Fall onward is about the restoration of the Kingdom.
Understanding the Kingdom
Restoring the Kingdom should be our pursuit. But, as I’ve talked about throughout this series of articles, you have to understand how a kingdom operates before you can restore it. God’s way of governing is marked by kingdom principles. You have to understand kingdom elements and principles to understand how God governs and if your environment is truly a Kingdom one. He will not step outside of those principles.
Therefore, to do the King’s will on the earth, you have to take those principles and apply them for the Kingdom to truly be expressed here as it is in Heaven. Only then can you understand what God’s purposes are and rightly incorporate all of the “its” we Christians can make the focus of our lives together.
Becoming a Christian is the first step into the Kingdom. But the Kingdom is vast. Jesus showed us our spiritual potential by being led by the Spirit of God, which is now inside us. Now we’re on a journey to become who we already are.
The Spirit will always lead you to focus on the Kingdom of God and further its purposes. Everything He says and does relates to it.
Make it your life’s pursuit to spread not just the gospel, but the gospel of the Kingdom.
The rest of the posts in the Understanding God’s Government series are here.