“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as is in heaven.”-Matthew 6:10
In his Letters & Papers from prison Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote about God’s Kingdom, He said ”It is a kingdom stronger than war or danger, a kingdom of power and authority, signifying eternal terror and judgement to some, and eternal joy and righteousness to others, not a kingdom of the heart, but one as wide as the Earth, not transitory but eternal, a kingdom that makes a way for itself and summons men to itself to prepare its way, a kingdom for which it is worthwhile risking our lives.”
Dallas Willard in Divine Conspiracy actively defined this kingdom as ‘the effective range of God’s will.”
But then there is another kingdom, the kingdom that we set up for ourselves where our will is of the utmost. This is a kingdom by definition that can be no larger than the material world we live in. It has limits, disastrous limits. Disastrous not only in the fact that, by default, causes us to do what is right in our own eyes, eyes which are flawed and fragile but omits any reliance on the reality of the spiritual world where God’s will, His Kingdom, overlaps with the material. A spiritual world where by its action keeps and upholds the material.
So far this year we have seen demonstrated almost weekly the disastrous effects of a society that ignores the spiritual world, where the source of all goodness flows to the material. Time after time the violence on American streets is outsourced by the material vision of one doing what he or she sees is right in their own eyes, their own mind and their own heart.
The resistance to align with God’s kingdom, God’s will and His spiritual world puts upon society one incidence of evil after another as one individual’s kingdom decree after another is unleased. These decrees can take the form of racial hatred to religious fanaticism on a societal level to a pervasive preoccupation with the need to control and manipulate others on a personal level. But do know it driven by total disregard for not only God’s will but anyone’s will but theirs. It is driven by only what they can see, the material world.
I believe the solution to what is currently upon us is an understanding and a dependence of God’s will and the workings of how the spiritual world interfaces with the material world.
Do I believe this will stop the violence? In all it is probably not possible but is it worth the discussion that might lead to an understanding and a way forward, absolutely it is.
God cares and loves every person that is blinded by the desire to live in His own kingdom. He understands they have desires and needs they try to obtain through means totally opposed to living in His kingdom. But He is calling them to live under His rule within a spiritual realm whereby they can learn He is always near, He is always caring, He is always concerned about their needs. One can never know God’s love and care through a life lived totally within the material world. God expresses and we receive totally within the spiritual world. That is why any dependence totally upon the material is devoid of God.
Can you imagine what it would be like not to make decisions based upon your kingdom wishes and an endless devotion to the material world?