One of the battles i face constantly is “living in the kingdom” vs “living in the world”.
Living in the world is very enticing, and easy – just follow the indulgences. Many times, looking at others, i also feel like following my indulgences – focus on acquiring possessions, worldly goals, settle scores with people, “give it back” to those who hurt and so on. The kingdom can come later. This sounds like a normal, ordinary life. At first a life of joy, but ends with suffering.
Compare that to living in the kingdom, whose primary theme is to “Deny yourself” (Math 16:24). This is opposite to living in the world. To let go of the worldly desires, and instead choose first to serve the Lord and His kingdom. This would be the “extra-ordinary” life. Initially a life of suffering, but ending with joy.
Quite difficult and painful. Many times, in my weakness, i ask myself why should i sign up for the kingdom? Why to constantly be hurt? Why to constantly forgive? Why not to chase the worldly riches? And i hear the Holy Spirit speaking – “Its because our rewards come from the Lord”. How true indeed!
The Lord knows what we need, and also what we don’t need. He remembers, and rewards accordingly. As i look at my spiritual life of 6 years, i see myself going from a disillusioned, broken, arrogant under achiever to a person with a purposeful life, a blessed family, a beautiful home, an influential position at work, blessed with godly people around and many more. A list that would make even a rich envious None of these i worked for, yet blessed by the Lord! As the Lord promised “A good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap” Luke 6:38
Yet the greatest reward of all being the “dwelling place” or “mansion” Jesus spoke about in His Father’s house, that He has prepared for us. (John .14:2-3). Oh how exciting that reward would be! To live in His house with all of His children forever. Nothing in this world would ever come close to it.
And so i pray, Father, help me to remember Your faithfulness, Your blessings in times of my weakness, and give me the strength to continue to live in Your kingdom! In Jesus name, Amen!