Bring in Your Kingdom

February 20th, 2012

The scripture passage accompanying today’s Upper Room devotional is Matthew 6:5-15, which includes the Lord’s Prayer. Those of us who grew up in traditional churches probably have this prayer memorized and could rattle it off with no difficulty. But while Bible memorization, (especially prayers!), is a positive thing, the familiarity can sometimes make it too easy to not think about what we’re saying, especially when we’re speaking a form of English that’s dated.

As I was reading today’s selection from the Common English Bible, verse 10 jumped off the page and smacked me:

Bring in your kingdom so that your will is done on earth as it’s done in heaven.

How easy it is to jump right over “Thy kingdom come” or “Your kingdom come” in the more traditionally worded prayer. But when I saw the words “Bring in your kingdom”, I realized that I’m actually asking God to do something pretty big!

What is this kingdom Jesus speaks of?

I have a few ideas about what I think it is, and you may have some thoughts as well. But I’m betting both of us are thinking too small. Christians talk a good game, but the church has a long way to go before most people would accuse of us helping bring in God’s kingdom.

That’s not meant to belittle the good things many Christians are doing.

But how much of what we do is mostly “passing out Band-Aids until Jesus comes back”?

When’s the last time most of us saw someone healed? What about an exorcism? (Do we still do those?) Do we know who the church’s modern day prophets are? (I mean besides the outspoken Christians who coincidentally happen to agree with us on most issues.) Is there an obvious spiritual dimension to what we do for God, or have we taken some of the positive things the secular world already does and just stamped “Jesus” on them?

Where’s the supernatural component to our ministries? Are there things happening that can only be explained by God’s power? Are we looking at our worship services, small groups, Sunday School classes, soup kitchens, and youth groups through spiritual eyes? Do we pay attention to what’s going behind the scenes? Do we understand that there’s an invisible realm which has a direct impact on the visible one?

When we pray to God, “Bring in your kingdom,” does it occur to us that that when we ask for one kingdom to be brought in, we’re praying for an opposing kingdom to be pushed out of the way?

Someone doesn’t like it when we do that. The Bible says that “God’s son appeared for this purpose: to destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8 CEB). When God’s kingdom is brought in, the devil’s kingdom is destroyed.

That’s exciting stuff! And it should be the norm for every Christian.

So the next time you pray that line from the Lord’s Prayer, understand the magnitude of what you’re asking for. And if you’re praying with an attitude of expectancy, get ready for big things to start happening.


comments powered by Disqus