LUKE 17:20-21: “The Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come. He answered them, “People can’t observe the coming of the kingdom of God. They can’t say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ You see, the kingdom of God is within you.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: Where is the Kingdom of God? This was a question that the Pharisees asked Jesus, and also a question that the disciples asked Jesus right before He ascended into heaven. In both instances, the question was focused on the external rule of God in the affairs of men. For the Pharisees, it was the hope of the Messiah who would set up David’s throne to once again reign from Jerusalem over all their enemies. To the disciples, it was the second coming of Jesus Christ, when He would establish His eternal reign over all.
What is the Kingdom of God to me?
In reality, it is both, and also none of these. Jesus was the Messiah, He will return to establish the throne of David in Jerusalem, and He will set up His throne in the new heavens and the new earth at the close of the age. Yet, Jesus points us to something even more important. He said, “…You see, the Kingdom of God is within you.” When I take time to look within my heart, do I see the Kingdom of God? What does that even mean?
Here is a simple definition I have often shared – “The Kingdom of God is wherever Jesus is King!” So, taking this definition, when I look into my heart – is Jesus King? This directs itself to the question of faith, to the call to receive Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord, and to live for Him. However, it also directs itself to so much more. I can believe in Jesus Christ, I can read my Bible, I can pray, and I can go to church – and yet, Jesus may or may not be the King of my heart. This is a daily choice that I must make. Each day I have the opportunity of surrendering to His Lordship in my life, or simply living within my own understandin and power.
What will I do?
The first thing I need to do is to be honest with myself and with God. I need to examine myself to see if I am in the faith. What does this mean? It is not examining whether I have lost my salvation. Rather, it is examining myself to see if I am living within the calling and power of my salvation. Am I walking in the power of the Holy Spirit? Am I yielding my life to Jesus as His instrument of love? Am I focusing on things that are above, rather than things that are on earth? Am I overcoming sin on a daily basis through the power of HIs Grace? The answers to these questions will determine whether I am not just a part of His Kingdom, but more importantly – living in the power of His Kingdom!
So how do I do this? Paul gives us some practical and powerful advice in the Book of Romans.
- “Therefore, never let sin rule your physical body so that you obey its desires. Never offer any part of your body to sin’s power. No part of your body should ever be used to do any ungodly thing. Instead, offer yourselves to God as people who have come back from death and are now alive. Offer all the parts of your body to God. Use them to do everything that God approves of. Certainly, sin shouldn’t have power over you because you’re not controlled by God’s laws, but by God’s favor.” (Romans 6:12-14 GW)
Lord, this morning, help me to offer all of my life, my body, my heart, my mind, my thoughts, and my actions to do Your will. Grant me the grace to walk in the power of the Spirit, through the provision of Your Cross! Help me to be honest with myself, and with You, and quickly turn from anything that is contrary to Your Kingdom in me!
Let Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done, in me today!
In Jesus Name!