the baby and the bathwater


The Language of the Kingdom
October 17, 2008, 1:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The language and activity of the Kingdom seems to be something that wider church is beginning to forget. Not everywhere – I am part of a church where we push into the things of the kingdom wherever we can. Maybe we’re not great at it, and along the way we stumble and fall. But it is part of our language, and it is our whole-hearted intention to see it’s activity. But the thankfulness I have at being part of such a church is matched by a sadness that I don’t see enough of it elsewhere.

The Kingdom is quite hard to define – even after so many books have discussed it and explained it. This ‘here but not complete’, ‘come but not fulfilled’, ‘present but in the future’, ‘fully in power but not fully revealed’ kingdom still manages to be surrounded in mystery, but is central to our lives as followers of the King.

Often the kingdom’s activity is momentary, surprising, and unpredictable, and so as fast as we try and devise formulas and courses and training programs to capture it, it moves on and we are left scrabbling to keep up. But in the kingdom, opportunities present themselves in the ‘here and now’ and need a ‘here and now’ response. We can prepare for the moment, but not predict when it will come.

And of course the Kingdom is totally King-centred. The activity of the kingdom always gives glory and honour and recognition and wisdom and power back to the King. There is no other shareholder, there is no other stake-holder, no political power-sharing agreement in place. The Kingdom is the King’s. The correct order of this universe is that the King comes first. There is no second place.

And ultimately the kingdom grows when we give it space to breath. And this can only happen when we intentionally give the King permission to be the King. Our motives, selfishness, and ministry aspirations can all crowd Him out.

And worship is at the heart of the kingdom. Not only the day-to-day lifestyle of worship, but the intentional coming-together-and-singing-the-songs worship. As we worship we lay down our agendas and welcome His agenda. As we lift up holy hands we are raising a banner high that says ‘this is your time and this is your place. Have Your way and do Your stuff’. And when our songs are intertwined with faith and obedience God moves. The mystery has been welcomed, the moment has been surrendered, the correct order has been established, and the space has been created: God of Glory have your glory.

In the Kingdom there is no space for another’s glory. There are no performers, stars or divas. There are no number one hits or award winners or song-charts or sell out gigs. All these things just confuse the kingdom. And the kingdom, though mysterious, is not confusing. There has never been any confusion. It is just for Him. Always has been. Always will be.

Church, don’t stop talking the language and walking the journey that is the kingdom. Keep pursuing the mystery, keep living in the moment, keep everything in the correct order, and make sure the King has the space to move.

God of Glory, have Your glory.

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