What to do while longing for the Kingdom
It’s natural and good to be longing for the full arrival of the kingdom of God. But Jesus gave us an assignment while we are waiting. Do you know what it is?
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 21:25
And he said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.'” Luke 11:2
The theme of the book of Judges is “there was no king in Israel [so] everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Especially the final chapters of the book show selected incidents which illustrate this same theme. People disregarded the law. Their worship of God was corrupted. Their marriages were in disarray. There was sexual immorality reminiscent of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is not hard to see that public opinion in Israel would soon favor installing a king. That would happen soon. But would a king in Israel solve the problems that existed under the Judges?
Hold that question for a bit and fast forward to the Gospel of Luke where Jesus’ disciples observe His prayer life. They ask for instruction about prayer. Jesus gives them the prayer we usually call “The Lord’s Prayer” with its assortment of sample petitions. After addressing God as Father and praying that His name be held as holy, the Lord gives them this petition, “Your kingdom come.”
Now, back to the earlier question. The kingdom of Israel would not solve the problems of their society, much less the problems of the world. But Jesus came announcing the first stages of the arrival of the kingdom of God. He also gave His disciples the assignment of praying for the kingdom to come in its fullness.
Think about it
We have a responsibility to the secular governments or kingdoms we live in now. However, the only government that will last forever is the kingdom of God ruled by the Prince of Peace and the King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Are you longing for that kingdom to fully come? Isn’t it hard to wait for the eternal reign of our Lord, where peace will be permanent, sin will be unknown, love and justice will be the norm, and there will be no more sickness, sorrow, and death? We know from Scripture that this is God’s ultimate will. It is right to be longing for the kingdom, but Jesus told us to pray that it may come soon. Pray that God’s will would be done on earth as it is in heaven. This is a prayer God is going to answer.