I already wrote about how the Kingdom is Here, but now I want to explore how to access the Kingdom in each of us. I would like to stress that the word “kingdom” denotes a King — The King, The Creator, The God. In order to have the fulfillment of God’s Kingdom (His purpose) in our lives, we need to first have a relationship with the King. The only way we can have a relationship with King is through His Son, Jesus. Once we have a relationship with Jesus, we receive God’s Spirit (Holy Spirit) to guide us. God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit are three separate components of God, but they are all God.
Jesus’ life was foretold by the prophets (Isaiah 53.3-5 NIV) in the Old Testament and was fulfilled and documented in the New Testament (Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23 & John 19). During His ministry on earth, Jesus taught us to “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matthew 4.17 NIV). There is an overall Kingdom fulfillment for this world that Jesus foreshadows in Luke 21; however, I believe that God has planted in each of us a Kingdom fulfillment.
I find it interesting that Jesus compared the Kingdom of Heaven to yeast. Yeast is dormant until it is placed in bread dough. (I believe that each of us have a Kingdom fulfillment, yet it will stay dormant until we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.) The yeast works on individual particles in the dough and transforms them. The end result is a sweet, yummy loaf of bread (John 6.51 NIV).
This Kingdom image leads me to believe that we all have a kingdom purpose to fulfill, which will be a part of the Kingdom purpose of all existence. God’s Kingdom fulfillment has already been established. His Kingdom will come whether we participate or not. It will be a shame, though, to see Jesus coming down from the skies riding a flying horse and realizing that we snoozed through this life and never fulfilled our purpose (Revelation 19.11 NIV).
Humans have two parts: We are flesh and spirit. Genesis 2.7 explains that “the LORD God formed the man from the dust [flesh] of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [Spirit], and the man became a living being” (NIV). When we ask Jesus into our hearts, God plants His Kingdom purpose into our spirits. The only way we can fulfill our purpose is if we live in the spirit. The problem is that it is so much easier to live in the flesh. To live in the spirit takes A LOT of faith. The flesh and the spirit are always struggling for dominion. A person can not live divided. Either she is walking in the spirit or in the flesh. There is no middle ground.
So what do we do? How can we ensure we live in the spirit, so that we can fulfill our Kingdom purpose? The answer is easy, but it may not seem pleasing at first…. hardships.
God allows hardships in our lives for two main reason: First, they kill our flesh. As Christians, we need to desire the death of our flesh because, otherwise, we will never fulfill our Kingdom purpose. Since our flesh and spirit are constantly warring for control, God does us an absolute favor when He sends hardships our way to take out the flesh (Galatians 5.24, Romans 6.2, Romans 8.13). We will always be drawn to live in the flesh because it is just easier. If we allow God to beat down our flesh, we will more likely embrace the spirit.
Second, hardships build our faith. Faith is the key. According to our faith, will our Kingdom purpose be done (Matthew 17.20). I think it is interesting that we embrace physical exercise because we know it’s going to build our bodies, yet we don’t embrace hardships, which will build our faith. Every time we endure hardships and continue to believe God for His promises to us, our faith becomes stronger. We must have stellar faith in order to live in the spirit.
Faith is essential to fulfilling our Kingdom purpose. God is going to do something in us that will go against all odds (Matthew 19.26). We will need lots of faith to believe that He will work His beautiful plan through our messed-up lives (Philippians 1.6). The surest way to build faith is through hardships. Hardships come in many forms, but we can claim victory to overcome them through Jesus Christ (1 John 5.3-5). When the sin of this world increases, God’s grace increases (Romans 5.20). And we can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4.13).
I’m determined not to give-up when hardships come my way because I know that when my flesh is weak, my spirit will become strong (2 Corinthians 12.10). There is a battle between my flesh and spirit, and I want my spirit to win. It is only when we go through hardships, we can ensure that we fulfill the Kingdom purpose God has for us: “where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God” (Acts 14.22 NLT).
Therefore, let us face our hardships with determined victory because they bring to completion God’s Kingdom fulfillment in our lives: “But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4.13 NIV) and “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Romans 8.17 NIV).
What storms are you currently finding yourself in? How can you walk by faith and claim God’s victory?