Kingdom living is not survival, it is not the 12 steps to success, its not mind over matter, its ruling and reigning in Christ in this life, its ruling in good times and in bad times knowing that the lord he is God of all.
It is not a ‘get me through today’ existence, its lending and not borrowing, its being the head and not the tail, its being above and not beneath, (Deuteronomy 28:12-13) its being a world changer, an over-comer who lives above the world and under the authority of the risen Christ rules over life’s circumstances.
Matthew 6:33 was the first piece of scripture I ever read in my first real bible, it had been marked out for me by a dear brother in Christ who had been the person who sowed the kingdom of God in me; just two weeks earlier he had shared the gospel with me and he choose this precious verse.
‘Seek you first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you’
There are many wonderful scriptures that he could have chosen for the whole word of God is life; but somehow this verse has always been in my heart and mind especially when the going gets tough. I have realized since that seeking the Lord with all your heart brings ‘all things pertaining to life and to godliness’ (2 Peter 1:3)
‘So whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God’ Jesus asked; ‘It is like a grain of mustard seed which when it is sown in the earth is less than all the seeds that be in the earth’ ‘But when it is sown it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out branches, so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it’ (Mark 4:31)
‘Mustard seed faith’
I remember on one occasion seeing mustard seed in a seed merchants, when the mill owner told me what it was I literally danced for joy much to the mans amusement. It is almost like dust in size and I saw there in that little seed that all the faith I would even need to move any mountain was not great faith but something so small that it could be used by the smallest child.
As I held it in my hands and allowed it to flow through my fingers almost like dust back into the sack I understood that when the word of God is sown into fertile ground small though it may be it has the ability to grow into something big enough to overshadow my biggest problems.
I realised as I stood watching this smallest of seeds flow back into the sack that if I would allow Gods word to flow through me, if I would sow His word it has enough power to become a shelter for the hurting and a refuge for the sick and needy.
As I left with the picture of mustard seed in my mind I knew that even the smallest of seedling faith in Christ can grow into a tree whereby not only I would be blessed and provided for but also every life that the Lord would call me to minister into.
On another occasion I saw Pauline my wife adding yeast to some flour as she baked; once again I was intrigued that it took only a small amount to make the cake she was making to rise into something very tasty indeed. This small amount of yeast had the ability to change the nature of the flour when mixed with it, later I found this written even as Jesus had spoken it, ‘The kingdom of Heaven is like leaven which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal until the whole was leavened’ (Matthew 13:33)
Once again all one has to do is to sow what you have no matter how small in order to change your whole life and living, it wasn’t the amount of the yeast that changed the very nature of the flour it was the fact that it was sown that made the change.
Again Jesus likened the ‘kingdom of heaven to a treasure hidden in a field and when a man found it he hid it, went and sold all he had and bought the field’ (Matthew 13:44) or ‘likened to a merchant seeking goodly pearls who when he had found one pearl of great price he went and sold all he had and bought it’ (Matthew 13:46)
The kingdom of God is of more valuable than all we possess, it’s greater than every good thing we become attached to; it is worth giving up everything in order to gain from its rewards, for ‘what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and loose his soul? (Mark 8:36)
Kingdom living, the power and authority to live a kingdom life comes from ‘possessing the field’ by taking ownership of what has been purchased for us through the sacrifice of Calvary’s lamb Jesus Christ. Kingdom living is seeking God with your whole heart until you find him (Jeremiah 29:13) knowing that in Him you live and move and have your being (Acts 17:28)
It’s dying to self in order to gain Christ the pearl of great price, its taking up your cross and following Him, its giving up your small world to gain His great kingdom, its willing to be small yeast so that you can enrich the lives of others.
So what then is the kingdom of God? It’s the foundation of God’s power, it’s His sovereign reign in us, its God reigning in our hearts through Christ Jesus, its receiving the abundance of Gods grace and the gift of righteousness which enables us to ‘reign in life’ by one, Jesus Christ’ (Romans 5:17)
It’s the reign of Almighty God of creation in the life of every believer, it’s the power of the word that said at the beginning ‘Let there be light and there was light’ (Genesis 1:3) it’s the healer working through us to heal the sick (Mark 16:18) it’s the ‘Storm Chaser’ (Mark 4:39) living and working in us by His power to calm every storm in the lives of others
In its simplest form the kingdom is faith in the word, faith that believes for the impossible, faith that takes God at his word, faith that overcomes and wins every race and it comes from one source alone ‘it comes by hearing and by hearing the ‘word’ of God’ (Romans 10:17)
‘In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God’ ‘All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made’ (John 1:1-12) it’s the word of God ‘Christ Jesus who was made flesh and dwelt among us’ (John 1:14) it’s the ‘all conquering, all consuming power of God that works in us’ (Ephesians 3:20) When the word of God (Christ) dwells richly in us in all wisdom (Colossians 3:16) we are able to live the kingdom life Christ came to give to all who truly believe.
The word needs to become so much a part of our living that we question everything we see and everything we hear and filter it through its life giving flow, in other words it needs to take on flesh and dwell so richly within us that it becomes Lord of every thought and deed. It’s the sharp two edged sword of Gods word alone that has the ability to discern between the soul (mind and emotions) and the spirit, its Gods word that separates his truth from the lies that we so easily fall prey to.
Its Gods word that enables us to cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, it’s his word alone that brings into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Without the continuous revelation of truth we would get so far away from truth that we would end up in bondage, we need to consider every voice we hear, to consider every thought and check it against Gods word before we sow it from our lips where it creates a harvest.
Its ‘Christ in us the hope of glory’ (Colossians 1:27) it’s the Lord of Lords who reigns through us his adopted children (Galatians 4:5) and if children then we are heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. (Romans 8:17) We need to understand that because we have received the Spirit of adoption (Romans 8:15) we are the sons and daughters of the living God and as such partakers of kingdom of our God.
I am not speaking about belonging to ‘a faith’ or being part of ‘the’ faith no, the bible speaks of a faith that is more valuable than many pearls, greater than all the treasures of the earth, so powerful that the smallest portion can ‘turn evil to good’ and can ‘turn the world up side down’
Listen to what the apostle James declared ‘faith without works is dead’ (James 5:20) ‘faith if it has not works is dead, being alone’ (James 5:17)
You can have all the mustard seed you can buy but if you do not sow it you will never reap any harvest, you can have all the yeast you can carry but if it is not well mixed into flour you will never produce a cake you can eat. The word of God needs to be mixed with faith otherwise it profits us nothing, (Hebrews 4:2) it requires sowing to bring it to harvest just like any other seed.
It’s an indwelt power that consumes doubt, which devours fear and rises to live above the problems which with seemingly great ease crush the unbeliever and indeed the believer at times.
In Mark 11:22 Jesus said ‘Have faith in God’ he didn’t say have faith in a denomination or a minister or a tradition he said ‘have faith in God’ Faith in a man made system may shake some money loose from your pocket when the basket comes around but it will never shake hellish doubts from your life.
Jesus was saying to those that would hear ‘have the God type of faith’ have the type of faith that moves mountains, that heals the sick and delivers the oppressed, the kind of faith that does the impossible, for you have the authority in Christ to do it.
Jesus went on to say that ‘whosoever shall say to this mountain be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he says shall come to pass , he shall have whatsoever he says’ V.23.
Watch the language of faith being expounded here; Jesus is not saying speak to me about your mountain, he is saying ‘you command the mountain to be removed and I will remove it for you’
I remember some time ago as a young Christian when God spoke to me quietly saying ‘you cant cast out devils in the name of Jesus Christ whom Kenneth Hagan preaches’ I questioned this word again and again as to what it meant and before long I saw the truth it contains. You see; you will never cast out demons or heal the sick just because someone said you can, you need to know that in Christ you can do it and that he enables and indeed encourages you to cast out devils.
You see; living, overcoming faith is based on what God says not what someone else says regardless if he is ordained by man or not, you cant believe that you can cast out devils just because I said you can but you can believe and do it when God gives you the authority to do so.
In Mark 16, Christ gave such power to ‘all’ believers when he said, ‘in my name you shall cast out devils’ that’s why demons hold no fear in me, I know that I have been given power and authority over them through Christ.
Listen to Mark the apostle in chapter 11:24 as Jesus continued to ‘open the doorway of kingdom living’ to the disciples; ‘what things so ever you desire; when you pray, believe that you have received them and you shall have them’
Whose desire is he speaking about? Yours; who does the praying? You; who is called to believe? You; who is the one who receives? You; in other words when you desire ask, when you ask in my name believe that you have received the things you asked for and you ‘shall’ have them. There are no ‘ifs’ in a faith prayer, no but’s, no maybes just ‘a thank you Lord’ for faith simply speaks and awaits the outcome.
John the apostle put it slightly different and gives us more insight into Kingdom living when he said; ‘And this is the confidence we have in him (Christ) that if we ask ‘anything’ according to His will, He hears us, and if we know He hears us, ‘whatsoever’ we ask, we know we have the petitions we desired of Him’ (1 John 5:14-15)
Read this word with care, let every syllable steamroller the doubt that forms so easily in your mind when you come to pray; ‘if you ask anything’ does that cover your every need? ‘Whatsoever you ask? Does that confirm that God wills to give you what so ever your hearts desire? ‘We have the petitions we ask of Him, does that sound like He refuses to answer your prayers? You see it’s his will to give you your hearts desire when you pray or ask in faith through the name of Jesus.
But what about the will of God you ask? Simple; any prayer must be God breathed through His word so get to know what God says about your problem and pray the word that way you can be sure you are praying in His will.
Now for some thing controversial, something in the book of God but seldom found in the hearts of man.
In Genesis 1:26-28 God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, ‘be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it: and have dominion over fish in the sea and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth’
The creator of all things ‘made man’ in his image (a representative figure) and in his likeness’ (shape, fashion, model) ‘when he shall appear we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is’ (John 3:2) Jesus said in John 14:9 ‘He that has seen me has seen the Father’.
Don’t you see it, we are made in his image, we are like Him and as His sheep we know His voice.
Now go through Genesis 1 and see God give ‘them’ Adam (and Eve) authority and dominion over every thing that moves on the earth. As an aside and just for the ladies ‘God gave ‘them’ authority and dominion not just Adam but Eve, so stop allowing some carnal believer tell you that you are fit to make tea and nothing else.
Listen; if it moves every believer has Gods power over it, to subdue it if it is evil or to multiply it if it is godly. We are to replenish the earth with godly children brought up to love and to revere the Lord; we are to bind and remove the evil and loose the goodness of God on the earth, we have been given authority over all the works of Satan.
We are to be men and women under the authority and headship of Christ, people who understand that with Christ as Lord they have the authority and power to rule and to reign as kings in this life (Romans 5:17)
Its being ‘street cleaners’ called of God to tear down the strongholds of Satan in our towns and villages, to take the axe of Gods word to the root of evil that pervades the streets of our towns and cities and to release the blessing of God to the lost and the suffering. I remember one hell hole here in our own town, a place were drugs and booze ran like a filthy river infecting the towns youth, one dear brother (one of God’s street cleaners) was exercise to lay his hands on the building and to command it to fall; two days later the owner was shot and killed and within a week it was closed down.
In another town yet another drug and booze sodden establishment where perversion was the norm was visited by a group of believers (God’s street cleaners) were exercised to walk its grounds and to demand its demise, this most profitable of businesses was closed down within a month never to open again
That’s Kingdom Living; that’s the power and authority that every believer has invested in them, power to destroy all the works of the devil.
In Genesis God gives His authority to the first Adam but regretfully Adam looses his power to Satan through sin, however the second Adam Christ Jesus came in the flesh and defeated Satan and took back the authority which he has stolen.
After the resurrection Jesus (the second Adam) speaks to his disciples and tells them, ‘Behold all power in heaven and in earth has been given unto me, go you therefore, and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ What he is saying here is; ‘Behold the power that the Father gave to the first Adam has now been given to me now go you and teach about the kingdom of God’
Mark the apostle records it this way, Jesus said; ‘Go you into the entire world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; he that believes not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe, in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover’ (Mark 16:16-18)
Now that’s what I call kingdom authority, that’s kingdom living; you cannot get it clearer than this commission makes it; since the beginning when Adam lost his power through sin, Satan ruled and had dominion but on the day that Christ by His death and resurrection defeated Satan the power was placed back where it was always intended to be, Adams race, the body of believers.
That’s why we can do the things that Christ did, that’s why we can do even greater things (John 14:12) that’s why we can be in the world and not of the world (John 17:16) ‘for as He is so are we in this world’ (1 John 4:17)
That’s the reason we can subdue demonic powers and cast them out of those who are oppressed and possessed, that’s the reason we have dominion over everything that moves, that’s why Satan has no power over the believer,
We are not Satan’s lackeys, we are not slaves of sin, we are not overcome by sins dominion, we are children of the kingdom, and we are those in who God has invested His power over all things on earth for His praise and for His glory.
The writer to the Hebrews in Chapter 11:33-34 records the works of men and women of God who ‘subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises and stopped the mouths of lions, people who quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight and turned to flight the armies of the aliens’
These were men and women who dared to believe that they and God together made an unbeatable force, it wasn’t that they were giants rather they knew that with God they always had the victory. Did they suffer for their faith in God? Of course they did, many died terrible deaths and willingly so but they were victorious in their death as well as in life. These precious people were Old Testament saints who dared to believe that in God they could rule over sin and over Satan.
We too are not subject to things that are sent to trouble us; we were born again to rule over them in Christ’s unbridled power and authority for the praise of His name and for His glory.
I remember an occasion when our business was in serious financial trouble, the bank had threatened to close us down and all appeared lost. I took the problem to the Lord and asked him for a word to enable me to get victory over the problem and he spoke to me through the Holy Spirit and said ‘if you shall say unto this mountain, be you removed and be you cast into the sea it shall be done (Matthew 21:21) I replied ‘Lord its not a mountain that is the problem, its debt;
I felt persuaded to get together all the bills and red letters and demanding notes and placed them on the dining room table and sure enough there was a small mole hill of paper which related to a large mountain of debt. I opened the word and spoke it over the ‘mountain and demanded that it be removed in Jesus name and within three weeks all our debts were paid and we had so much work we were turning it away.
The morning that I spoke to ‘the mountain’ my brother was surprised to see the smile on my face so I told him the debt was paid in full by Calvary’s saviour the one who supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19) he thought that I had finally gone mad but no, I had found a grain of truth that was to deliver a mountain of grace to overcome our debt.
Listen please to some more controversial truth; Christ didn’t say, speak to me about your mountain, he said ‘whosoever shall say to the mountain’ in other words Jesus did not tell us to speak to him about our sickness he was teaching us to speak to the sickness in His name and to command it to be removed. You and I are ‘mountain movers’ that’s how kingdom authority works, the king gives the power to the army and the army go and defeat the king’s enemies, the army know that they are backed up by all the resources of the kingdom and as such there is no enemy big enough to defy them.
Pleading with God to heal someone will never gain them health, but any believing can in Christ’s name demand that the sickness that threatens them must go and in doing so can be sure that the Son will set them free indeed. The power of the kingdom is in Christ for all things have been put under his feet but guess what? you are his feet so go and gain some ground..
Gods kingdom is a kingdom with power that flows freely to every believer from the youngest child to the eldest person, just like the blood in our bodies reaches every part life so the power of Christ pours our life to every joint, ‘In Christ we live and move and have our being’ (Acts 17:28) Apart from Christ we can do nothing he provides every thing we need to live, indeed he is our life, we can no more live without Christ than we can without blood running through our veins.
If signs are not following us as believers we need to ask ourselves are we following some man made tradition which ensnares, are we preaching good news or are we preaching laws that place people in bondage?
If we are not seeing devils being cast out can it be that we have never understood that God in His wisdom chose us to clean up the streets of our towns and cities by removing the scourge of demonic powers in the lives of the lost.
If we are not seeing the sick recover can it be that we have left this precious commission to doctors and in doing so have robbed God of the glory which is rightfully His as the great physician, can we who have been entrusted to heal the sick truly believe that God would share his glory with another?
We have been commissioned, (Mark 16) we have been elected, (1 Thessalonians 1:4) we have been empowered (Acts 1:8) and we have been entrusted to finish the work, to enforce the victory, to preach the kingdom of God (Luke 9:60) to build the kingdom of our great God.
That’s the depth of the ‘good news’ the power of sin has been broken, the price has been paid in full for ‘all things’ are under His feet, and God has given Christ to be the head over all things to the church; (you and I) which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:22-23)
The kingdom of God is within us (Luke 17:21) we do not have to pray it down, we need to stir ourselves and become kingdom warriors for it is part of the new life which has been birthed in us who believe, it is Christ in all His risen power dwelling in us by the Holy Spirit., it’s ‘the power of God unto salvation’ (Romans 1:16)
Christ walked in kingdom power, he lived the life that God planned for Adams race; in the wilderness when he was at His weakest he defeated the devil by the power of the word, He calmed storms and walked on water, he fed the 5000, and he healed all manner of sicknesses and diseases and cast out devils.
Jesus lived a miraculous life because of the anointing of the Holy Spirit, he showed every believer how they could and should live and then gave the Holy Spirit to each of us so that we should do mighty exploits in His name.
Jesus said, if I by the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God has come upon you. (Luke 11:20) the finger of God is the Holy Spirit who lives in every believer and as such the kingdom of God is upon all who are His.
Jesus said in John 20:21 ‘as my father has sent me even so I send you’ in other words I was sent full of the Holy Spirit and in the same manner I send you, I healed the sick, gave recovery of sight to the blind, delivered the captives and set at liberty them that were bruised go you and do likewise.
Jesus said, ‘heal the sick that are therein and say unto them ‘the kingdom of God is near unto you’ (Luke 10:9)
We are not sent out helpless, we are sent out with all the power and authority of heaven behind us, we were re-born to live a life of freedom and to bring others into the same liberty, we have the same Holy Spirit, the same power and the same word that defeated the devil as he took on God made manifest in the flesh. If God be for us who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
‘The early church lived in Kingdom power’
The apostle Peter knew how to live a kingdom life, when confronted with the cripple at the gate beautiful he told him to get up and walk and the man not only walked but he went leaping and praising God the healer. (Acts 3)
Peter also raised Dorcas from the dead, now that’s kingdom living, real authority and resurrection power being exercised by a one time denier of Christ. (Acts 36-42) once even his very shadow passing over the sick and the infirmed as they lay on beds in the street healed the sick, they brought multitudes of sick folk, and those that were vexed with unclean spirits and they were all healed (Acts 5:14-16)
Peter this one time coward now filled with the Holy Ghost took on the devil at his worst and beat him hands down; he and the early church cleaned up the streets of Jerusalem from the temple steps to the back alleys and gave glory to the Lord of Lords.
Stephen a man full of faith and power did great wonders and miracles among the people and when the religious menace turned on him they could not resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spoke (Acts 6:8-10) Sure he died a martyrs death but not before he used Gods word to tear open the hard hearts of his accusers and show them the Christ that they had crucified.
Another street cleaner for God called Philip a one time server of tables moved out of the relative comfort of Jerusalem and ‘when in Samaria he preached Christ and the people gave heed to what he said hearing and seeing the miracles he did. Unclean spirits crying with a loud voice came out of many that were possessed with them: and many who were paralyzed and that were lame were healed’ (Acts 8:5-7)
That’s kingdom living and dying in action, it does not take account of what it can see or what the devil says, it hears only from God and follows His instructions, Jesus himself said ‘the Son can do nothing in himself, but what he sees the Father do, for what things so-ever he does, the Son does likewise’ (John 5:19) in other words Jesus was saying ‘I only do what I see the father do’
What a picture of a serving saviour, what a great Son Christ was to His heavenly Father, if we would learn to serve with such passion, if we would only speak and do as we are instructed we would indeed hear our Father in Heaven say, ‘well done my good and faithful servant’
Christ lived the kingdom life because His was the kingdom and the power and the glory, it was His to give and He gave it to you and me and to all who would follow Him.