Lately, God has been taking the lesson of "living in the kingdom" to a deeper level for me. I've become aware of a faulty mentality I've been living with. I've noticed lately that it is hard to tell what makes me different from anyone else I meet, people who do not know God. I might not gossip or swear and I attend plenty of church activities. But my life was not defined by any sort of real power or greatness that would leave any outsider wanting in. This is because my primary worldview, I realized, looked exactly like everyone else around me. The world-mind is afraid of a declining economy, the war in Iraq, death and pestilence, unemployment rates and bad grades. The world-mind runs around looking for problems in a perfectly good moment and secretly believes that Murphy's law is not just a theory. The world-mind worries that the cancer and high blood pressure from parents and grandparents will inevitably be passed down; it is only a matter of time. The world-mind stocks its basement and its bank account for "a rainy day" and nuclear war. The world-mind knows that if we do not take care of ourselves, no one else will. In the world, we are orphans and we are the only ones who will take up our cause. There is no one to defend us.
These are the fears of the world-mind and for those who live under its government, these are genuine concerns. Sin rules in this world and contamination, sickness and death are realities for a mind who is under the jurisdiction of the ruler of the air. I don't want to live in a world like this. And I don't have to.
When my spirit was re-born, these rules ceased to apply to me. I now live in a different kingdom. I am being transformed as my mind is renewed. This must be what is meant by living in the world but not of it. You may have an address in the world, but you do not have to live under its laws, fear what it fears, or move as it moves, in opposition with the laws of the one who made it. No wonder the earth "groans" for the sons and daughters of God to be revealed. The earth itself, the very soil, is longing for those who understand the laws of the one who made it and can govern it with those rules so it can give birth and flourish as it was intended. In this kingdom, we learn to move in rhythm, not in conflict, with the frequencies and motions of the Creator. He is teaching me His dance.
Let me tell you about his world. In his world, there is no sickness. He hates sickness so it has been outlawed. Only beauty and holiness here. So if we are sick or dead when he come into his world, we will be brought to life. In this kingdom kindness and mercy are valued more highly than judgment. The King even says he "delights to show mercy". So if we are wrong when we come into his world, we can become right. If we are guilty, we become forgiven. If we are shameful, we will stand confident. If we are crooked, we are re-aligned. If we are wounded, then we are healed: mind, spirit, body and emotions. If we give, then we receive even more. If we die (to a life that was dead anyway), then we get an abundant trade-in of authentic life. If a crop of goodness has ever been stolen from us, we will reap twice what we lost. Beauty and imagination galore enchant the audience of the King as he never ceases to create, to speak, to sing. Music and color flow from the King's throne and bring him delight as we, his creations, grab a hold of a wave or two, fashion it into a worship, and send it back to the throne from which it came.
I cannot forget my favorite part. In this world, the King IS love. He does not feel it from time to time, if the conditions are right. He is love itself. Love rules this world and is valued above obedience, cleanliness and good behavior. Why? Because love in our lives wins over sin. It results in obedience, cleanliness and good behavior. When we are in love, we simply cannot help but be lovely and gracious and self-sacrificing. It is no on wonder that Love is the greatest law in this world, the ultimate Ace of Spades. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. Love should swallow up our entire beings. And isn't this what we long for, to be swallowed whole by a good thing, instead of constantly feeling hunted and haunted by what we know is dead and sad and wrong?
If I live in the kingdom of God, then his government is over me and his rules now apply to me. I don't have to worry about getting sick, running out, or falling short. Death has no sting, famine is not bigger than his power to provide and failure is not the end of the story. I want to bring this kingdom with me wherever I go. When I arrive somewhere, I want its rules to apply in that place when I leave. This is my inheritance as God's child.
Lord, teach me your ways. I want to walk in the truth and beauty of your laws and bring them with me wherever I go. Let it be. Amen.