Are you looking forward to heaven? Do you have a picture in your mind of what it may look like? What would you think if I told you the kingdom of God is here, right now? Would you think I’ve gone out of my mind?
With all the chaos going on around us, we likely don’t think of the kingdom of God being among us. We think, “How can the kingdom of God be here with all the bad things going on around us?” Perhaps we need to look beyond the surface.
I will quickly agree with you that the kingdom of God has not yet been fully implemented. It has not yet come into its fullness. After all, Jesus tells us in Matthew 13:31-32 that the kingdom will grow into a large kingdom, much like a mustard seed grows into a large garden plant. However, as we see in today’s passage, Jesus also says God’s kingdom is already among us.
Perhaps the question we must wrestle with is, “What kingdom are we living in?” We are too often so concerned with our physical lives that we don’t see God’s kingdom in our midst. We don’t see Him at work in our lives nor the lives of others. We don’t see Him at work in nature, the very creation He put here for our pleasure and sustenance.
Of course, you may say, “Well, Jesus was there and since He is God, He was in their midst when He was talking to them.” Sure, but we must remember that He also said He would send the Holy Spirit, as well (John 15:26). Having the Holy Spirit in us is having God with us. That means God is still in our midst, if only we will see Him.
Since God is in our midst, His kingdom is here. We have a choice; we can live in His kingdom while we live in this world or we can deny His kingdom is here in hopes that we will see it later. Here is the danger in that. If we deny God’s kingdom is here now, we deny God is at work in this world. Why do I say that? Anywhere God is, He rules. He has stated He hasn’t expelled all evil yet. In some ways, it is similar to our human government. Though there are laws and police forces, there are still criminals who do wrong.
God has promised He will fully implement His kingdom. We anxiously await that day. We look forward to no more tears, no more hurt, and an eternity of bliss. It is coming, but we can experience God’s kingdom right here, right now.
I pray we all recognize God’s kingdom. I pray we decide to live in it now. I pray each of us will choose to see God at work in our lives. Look around you. See God’s kingdom. Notice God working in your life. Know that God is in our midst.
Luke 17:20-21 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”