A thought that has been rolling around in my mind and on my heart lately. I recently listened to someone talking about this subject, and I have been having these same thoughts and considerations. I have taken it a bit further as well.
I think that we, as modern day western culture people, may not be approaching God's word quite right. We know about God's promises, and we know He is a God of His word, but for many it seems that it does not work for them. Since the problem is not with God, it must be with them. I believe that part of the problem is that we are approaching God as democratic or parliamentary thinkers, instead of kingdom thinkers. In other words, our approach to the word of God is as a democracy. It goes to the very core of our being after so many years and generations of growing up and living in it.
There are quite a few differences between a democracy or parliamentary government, and a Kingdom. In a democracy we elect or 'hire' who we want to run our government, according to how we want it run. We elect what suits us best.
If we do not like the way things are, we simply re-elect someone else. I am simplifying it a bit, but that is it in a nut-shell.
Of coarse when you look at our circumstances, a democracy is by far the better form of government. America is a classic example. No other country on earth is as well off. I know! I have been around quite a bit, and lived in other parts of the globe for many years, and seen how others live in other countries. The problem with a Kingdom government today would be that fact that a man would be king. Man is fallen. It is a dangerous situation to put yourself under the power of one man. Therefore, having a system of checks and balances is the better form of government.
One of the big differences between a Kingdom and a democracy is that you really do not own anything. You live off the land, allotted by the king, but do not own it. You are a steward of it in other words. That goes against our natural thinking. Socialism and even communism have resulted by man trying to come up with our own idea of this form of government, and we know the results of that. Not good.
In a democracy we tend to conform to the laws of the land rather than obey them. We get away with what we can. We accumulate for ourselves. We elect what is best for us. Our lives are in our own hands so to speak. In a kingdom, the laws are obeyed because they are the KINGS laws, period. Your life and well-being is in His hands.
A really good model of what I am getting at is a country like The Bahamas. Years ago they were a colony of Great Britain. Today Britain is more of a parliament, but it used to be an actual kingdom.
The King would send out a governor to rule the colony. That governor's job was to change the land into a reflection of the kingdom. He would first teach the people to speak English, the language of Britain. The houses and buildings took on the look of England. The dress became the dress of the English. They learned drive on the left side of the road. Basically it turned into a little Britain, even though it still held it's own origins as well.
If you went to the Bahamas after the English governor was done, you would see it as a very different place than before hand. They are speaking English, the language of the Kingdom, and wearing suits (even in tropical weather). All of the land was called 'Crown Land' which they lived off of. They worked it, but did not own it. It is a very different mentality from a democracy.
God's Kingdom is just that - a kingdom. He sent His governor, His Holy Spirit, to change the land into a reflection of the kingdom. (interesting how the first thing he seems to do also, is to give you the language of the kingdom!) He is here to teach us how to live as the Kings subjects, instead of as independent self-fulfilling democrats. (boy I sound anti-USA, and I am not at all. This is about the spiritual life and who we REALLY are, not our outward lives)
I believe the rich young man who spoke to Jesus was tested in this. He asked Jesus how he could become part of the Kingdom of God, and Jesus told him first to obey the laws, which this man had already been doing. Jesus then challenged his 'Kingdom mentality' by asking him to re-distribute the King's wealth to others in need. If the King owns it, there should be no questioning that. It is my own personal belief that if this man had obeyed, instead of turning away downcast like he did, he would have proven to be a particularly good steward of the kingdom, and God would have trusted him with a lot more wealth. God would know He could trust the man to give where He told him to. God was not interested in making him poor.
In fact, the reputation of a king is determined by the condition of his subjects. If the land be poor, sick, at war with each other, or even devoid of purpose, it is the sign of a bad king. God is a good king. He just needs us to get a hold of the kingdom mentality approach to our lives.
This may be why some do not seem to prosper. Why some remain sick. Why some bounce from church to church and ministry to ministry, looking for what we want for ourselves, in the same manner that we elect the officials that give us what we want. Democratic thinking.
Maybe that's why he tells us to seek to be in right-standing with the King first. To "seek first the Kingdom of God" and let the King worry about our own provision, health, well-being, and purpose.
Sincerely in Christ,
Nathan - Good News Graphics
Be sure to also check out earlier articles written by Mr. Lambshead. You can also contact him by e-mail.