Steve Lyston: Focus on the kingdom
Luke 17: 20 - 21 says: "Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, 'The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, 'See here.' or 'See there.'For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.'
Many times, even Christians will ask the question, "What are Christians doing?" or "What is the Church doing?" However, the next time that question comes up, ask yourself, "What am I doing?"
There are so many Christians who are focusing on the wrong things, such as the world's ways of doing things, material blessings, their denominations, food, clothing, and so much more. However, to be an effective Christian, we must focus on what Jesus focused on as His number one priority. Jesus' number one priority and focus was the kingdom.
In contrast to expectations of the Pharisees, the kingdom is not external and physical in the sense of being a political domain, but rather internal and spiritual. The kingdom is within you and it is presently embodied in Him. Once there is a Kingdom there must be a king and if Jesus is the king, we have to receive Him as saviour. Then we have to allow His kingly rule, not only in your life, but over your affairs, through your life and by your service and love.
Many say they are Christians, but operate independently of rule and principle. No kingdom can function without laws. God's kingdom functions with order and peace. Every nation has a standard of conduct for citizens to follow. If we are citizens of the kingdom, we have to submit to our sovereign ruler. For example, we cannot be part of a kingdom and do what we please. The world is crying out for the manifestation of kingdom people to come on the forefront. Nations are failing. Politicians are failing. Economies are collapsing.
Mark 4: 11 says: "And He said to them, 'To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables..."
The secret to growing an economy and turning a nation around lies within the kingdom people. With due respect, many leaders are now turning to the rich for solutions to growing an economy. It will not work unless you embrace kingdom principle and kingdom people. We are in a kingdom era, and only kingdom principles work in this era. The old ways are over. God wants us to have dominion over four areas, just as Jesus did - SEED: sickness, environment, economies. demons/disease.
The kingdom of God is about man looking to God as his source and his saviour. It is never God's intention for man to live on welfare, under oppression and loans from international lenders who dictate even the lifestyle that they ought to live. The first thing Jesus did was to empower the poor and to break poverty - moving man from poverty to prosperity, which can only be done through kingdom principles.
One cannot be part of the kingdom of God and not believe in prayer, fasting, or the salvation of a soul, or be ashamed to identify whom they serve publicly. Many Christians are in positions of influence, but they are not playing an active or significant and vital role in society in any measure; and if you are a part of a kingdom, you are an ambassador wherever you go. Joseph, Daniel and Esther were never afraid to carry out their kingdom duties.
Matthew 7: 21 reminds us that, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven..."
The questions is: Are you part of the kingdom?
Matthew 6: 33 reminds us to seek God first. As a kingdom person, are you seeking God first? Your blessing and help are in seeking God first.
Many nations are now turning to drugs and immorality to get help and grants. That is their choice. But as kingdom people, we seek God first and He then reveals to us the secrets. Furthermore, kingdom people must unite and help each other - not block and betray each other or tear each other down to get help. It is also imperative for us to know that regardless of what prayer we pray on a daily basis, we must pray that we come in alignment with God's kingdom and that His kingdom will manifest in the earth - bring peace, joy, integrity, righteous people and a nation where families thrive.
- Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books including 'End Time Finance' and 'The New Millionaire'.