Last Sunday I shared that the Kingdom of God is tangible—that it’s to be experienced here and now. We learned in ‘Becoming “They”’ that the Kingdom is like yeast that leavens flour or a mustard seed that grows larger than other plants. It is our ever-growing and ever-increasing inheritance.
We also briefly referenced the words of Jesus’s brother, James, “Faith without works is dead.” Let’s find out how these ideas connect.
The Tangible Kingdom
It is common for people to segregate the spiritual from the physical. A perfect example of this would be the idea that Heaven is a disembodied state we go to (locationally ‘up’) when we die.
Even popular movies pick up these ideas. Take Star Wars for example. During a Jedi training session, Yoda says to Luke, “Luminous beings are we… not this crude matter.” The idea is that there is a necessary and irreconcilable separation of the physical and the spiritual.
This idea found its way into the Church long before Star Wars. Not promoted in the Bible, this belief is a result of Greco-Roman thought and philosophy seeping into Church doctrine.
As a result, we don’t see the Kingdom as anything practical or tangible. There’s a feeling that the truly good is reserved for the “great by and by.”
But one look at the Lord’s Prayer will show us a very different story. “Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Then Jesus moved into petitions to God for daily provisions—both spiritual and physical blended in perfect harmony.
Sadly, most of us don’t see these basic things (give us this day our daily bread) as Kingdom provisions. We look at physical realities and mistakenly believe we’ve provided them for ourselves. Giving thanks to God for provision has become nothing more than a ritual or formality.
Meanwhile these are tangible aspects of the Kingdom breaking into our world. Jesus would later go on to say, “Why do you worry about what clothes you wear or what food you will eat?” He then specifically told us that God will provide those things for those who belong to him.
Whether it be food and clothing or justice and forgiveness, they are all tangible realities of the “here and now” Kingdom.As a result of pagan philosophy seeping into the Church, we don’t see the #Kingdom as practical or tangible. We feel that the truly good is reserved for the “great by and by.” Click To Tweet
Faith Without Works
We are all aware of James’s teaching: if we say we believe a thing, but don’t live it, we are liars. When we understand that faith is trust, and that trust displays itself through action, then the concept of ‘faith without works being dead’ becomes common sense. But how does this idea connect with the Kingdom of God being tangible?
It connects when trust displays itself through action. Later on in his letter, James wrote that we shouldn’t just pray for a person who is in need, we should also help meet that need. This is faith with works. It’s also the Kingdom invading earth in a very tangible way.When we understand that #faith is trust, and that trust displays itself through action, then the concept of ‘faith without works being dead’ becomes common sense. Click To Tweet
If we truly want to co-labor with Christ, if we are truly people who pray the Lord‘s prayer, why would we not want to be the helpers he uses to fulfill that prayer?
What if, in asking God for his Kingdom to come and his will to be done on earth, he chooses to use us?
How have you seen the Kingdom of God in tangible ways? I’d love to hear how God has used you to bring heaven to earth. Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.If we truly want to co-labor with #Christ, if we are truly people who pray the Lord‘s prayer, why would we not want to be the helpers he uses to fulfill that #prayer? Click To Tweet