Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Thy Kingdom Come

Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come.” (Lk 11:2). Of course, there is more than one way God answers this prayer. His kingdom in our lives personally means our submission to His Lordship over us, as He rules and reigns in us. Moreover, His kingdom on earth will ultimately be fulfilled when Jesus Christ comes back to rule and reign on the earth. By praying, "Thy kingdom come," we are asking Him to rule and reign over us personally, corporately, and eventually over the whole world. However, there is something else we are asking for when we pray this prayer.

In the same passage where Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, He later said the Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. He said, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luk 11:13). The part of the Lord’s Prayer that corresponds to asking the Father for the Holy Spirit is “Thy kingdom come.” The Holy Spirit serves a central role in the kingdom of God.

Likewise evil spirits or demons play a central role in satan’s kingdom. Jesus addressed this when He said, “If satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand?” (Lk 11:18). He was specifically responding to the accusation that He was driving out demons by Beelzebub, the prince of demons (Lk 11:15). His point was that if that were true, then satan’s kingdom would not stand, since his own house would be divided against itself. However, He actually drove out demons by the finger of God, (by the Spirit of God), which meant that the kingdom of God had come to them. He said, "But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." (Luk 11:20). In saying this, Jesus affirmed the central role of the Holy Spirit in the kingdom of God. When the kingdom of God comes, the Holy Spirit comes. When the Holy Spirit comes, the kingdom of God comes.

Conversely, when evil spirits are operating in people’s lives, the kingdom of satan has come to them. It is critical that the demons cooperate with each other, in order for satan’s kingdom to stand. But imagine how difficult that is for them to do so, since they are fallen, evil entities. They are full of pride, jealously, hatred, even hatred for one another, so it’s a fragile, brittle kingdom, and the main reason they cooperate is out of fear of their master, satan. But we can pray that the Lord would throw the enemy into confusion, causing the demons to turn and fight each other. Then the kingdom of satan will not stand, and he will fail to achieve his goals.

Jesus came to bring division on earth, so let’s pray to that end! He said, "Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." (Luk 12:51-53).

When His kingdom, His Spirit, and His holy fire come upon the earth (Lk 12:49), it brings division. Families are divided. Some within the family will love the truth, love the Holy Spirit, and receive Him and His holy fire. Others will not. They will love their lives and persecute the family members who do the will of God. That’s normal; so don’t be surprised when it happens.

Putting it All Together
Satan is destined to fail, and his kingdom will surely fall. But the kingdom of God endures forever, and shall not be destroyed.

Let’s pray for our heavenly Father’s kingdom to come. Let’s receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Let’s love the truth, do the will of the Father, walk by the Spirit, and maintain the unity of the Spirit.

Does the Lord Jesus Christ reign as King in your heart today? If not, then why not ask Him to do so? Have you asked for and received the gift of the Holy Spirit? If not, there is no time like the present to do so.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. "All Hail King Jesus" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm all rights reserved by the artist.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, I recommend reading these related articles: Baptized with the Spirit, Holy Fire Baptism, Is Obedience Optional?, The Difference Between a Disciple and a Believer, Having a Servant's Heart, The Cost of Discipleship, and The Law of Christ. You may also like the other posts in this blog available through the Home page. You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." 

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org

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