“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3, ESV)
I recently took a long journey that I didn’t want to go on because I feared where it might lead to change. As I was preparing my heart for the trip, I read Psalm 46:8a “Come and see the works of the Lord.” (NIV) I felt in my spirit a personal invitation. This daunting dutiful journey became a royal invitation to join the King!
To travel with the King is to live under His protection, under His banner. He comes beside me in my fears and guides me. Dependence defines kingdom living. He is paying. He is providing for my needs. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be hardship. It means that there will be help in the midst of hardship.
“Come and see,” He said. This meant that the King had something to show me. The King had something to show the serf. Nay. The King had something to show His daughter. His daughter was feeling old and tired and out of her comfort zone, but so compelling was His invitation to “come and see,” that I went.
He showed me one of His youngest daughters. She was an Afghan woman, verging on the elderly, watching the Jesus film with rapt attention on someone’s telephone at Ephraim Center. Is there anything more beautiful than watching someone fall in love? I had the privilege to see her entering the kingdom of God.
The kingdom of God is where Jesus is. He is present with us and calling out to us. To be aware of His presence is to live in the kingdom of heaven. It’s that simple. Why do I forget?
I have this temptation to want to rule my own kingdom. I don’t always want to follow the royal protocol. When I’m serving my own kingdom, I am afraid, frustrated, bothered by petty things…
To live under the royal protocol—put in place to help me to be the daughter He created me to be—is freedom. I have the freedom of dependence, and with it, I have the kingdom of heaven which I believe is Jesus, Himself.
Warmly in Christ, Karen Kurth
For Reflection: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28, NKJV)
When (and why) are you most tempted to try to rule your own kingdom?
Prayerfully read the references to the kingdom of God or heaven in the book of Matthew. Does God have something to say to you about kingdom living?