Kingdom Thinking for Today – Part 2
[A few weeks ago I released a teaching that feels like it was notable for this new era. I started sharing this with you on July 1st.]
The Church is a part of God’s Kingdom. A kingdom is the place where a king reigns. For our King, that’s everywhere and over everything, including hell. Christ has the keys to death, hell and the grave, remember? So, the Church is not synonymous with the Kingdom. It is a part of the Kingdom. Now, listen, those of you who love the local church. The Kingdom is not a part of the church. The church is a part of His Kingdom.
So, when the Lord began to give me this revelation, I needed to search out and study and meditate on the difference between the two. I found myself thinking, “What is my part, and how does the Body and the Church fit into His Kingdom plan?” That led me to realize that what He was calling me to do was not just to build my little piece of it. I needed to know how my part fit into the whole. All this searching these things out began to radically change my thinking.
So, God had told me He wanted me to build an apostolic sending center. “Apostolic” is the concept of “sending”. It’s not gathering as much as sending. The local church tends to gather. Sending requires you to think bigger and more outward. Thinking apostolically causes you to think of how your small piece fits into the whole big picture.
We need to get ourselves to care as much about the success of the work down the street or across town as we do about our own work. Until we do, we will not be qualified to do everything He wants us to do. Otherwise, you are not apostolic or Kingdom-minded in your thinking. You are still focused primarily on your own house.
The process the Lord began to take me through was painful. We don’t always realize what the ramifications of His instructions will be to our lives or the work we are doing until it plays out. We are forced to stop thinking about what is best for our church and start thinking about what is best for the Kingdom.
“And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.” (Matthew 4:23; ESV)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
- Thank God for saving you and making you a Kingdom advancer!
- Ask God to give you a revelation between the local church and the Kingdom.
- Ask Him to show You how the local church is a part of the plan to advance His Kingdom in the earth.
- Pray for the leaders of the local churches to receive revelation of this and make the shift while we are in this season of upheaval. Things don’t have to look the same as we come back together.
- Bless the local churches. Pray for as many as you can think of. If you can prayer drive the churches in your area and bless them today, do so.
A prayer you can pray:
God, make Your Church Kingdom-advancers while we live as local church builders. We can build the local Church properly only if we keep our eyes on the rest of what You are doing. Show us how our piece is connected to other works in our community. How do they work together to bring glory to Your Name? How do we help our part advance what You want to do as a whole big picture? Lord, we need to think very differently! Give us understanding of the Kingdom. How do we live in the righteousness, peace, and joy that Jesus talks about? How does that manifest in our families and in our cities, states, and this nation? People are hurting and we can’t just focus on a few dozen, or hundred, or even thousand of our own congregants. What have we been thinking?
I intercede for church leaders. Make them equippers, not sheep herders. Make them senders, not gatherers. Grace them to stir up the miraculous gifts you have bestowed in the saints, so we have an army of miracle working power, not a handful of professional ministers hanging on the edge of burnout. Revelation, come! Kingdom of God come! Will of God on the earth, be done!
Finally, Lord, I pray for the local churches. Grace, grace, grace to the small and the large, the rural and the city, the formal and the unstructured, the congregants and the leadership. Grace to learn what it means preach the Gospel of the kingdom. Grace, grace, grace, Jesus! Amen.
The local church will begin to advance God’s Kingdom!