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What is the Kingdom Reality (Part 1 of 2)

This blog was adapted from Bryan’s upcoming book, As in Heaven: Life in God’s Kingdom NOW. 

“Manifest your kingdom realm, and cause your every purpose to be fulfilled on earth, just as it is in heaven. We acknowledge you as our Provider of all we need each day.” 

–Matthew 6:10-11, TPT

As believers, we’re assured of our heavenly destination. However, we will be judged not only for our actions but also for fulfilling our God-given purpose and stewarding His call on our lives, including our motives and deeds. Each of us has a book of life written by God with good works prepared for us. Will we live according to our own desires or in alignment with God’s plan? Our God-designed path brings the greatest fulfillment and eternal impact as intended by Him.

Ultimately, facing Jesus as our judge, we’ll stand before the judgment seat once. This single chance on earth determines our eternal rewards or not. It’s the only opportunity to earn rewards for eternity. Let’s be heavenly-minded and live with an eternal perspective – striving for life AS IN HEAVEN, divinely enabled by grace! 

What does this look like practically? 

In my life, the kingdom has manifested through many blessings extended to kingdom citizens. However, in this article, I will focus specifically on the blessing of suffering and experiencing peace and joy above my circumstances. Next month, I’ll share about the true source of wealth, and experiencing the power of forgiveness. 

The Blessing of Suffering

I have often failed in my walk with God, but over and over, Jesus has proven faithful to His Word and His love for me. Although I would not wish many of the things I have experienced upon anyone, these trials have increased my intimacy and accelerated my journey with the Lord in ways I never thought possible. I am who I am now because of the trials I’ve experienced by the grace of God.

Blessing comes as a result of suffering when you are a child of God because God is such a gracious redeemer. He gives us more than enough grace to endure if we are citizens of the kingdom. My suffering has moved me into a place of greater dependency, rest, and faith in God. I am not the same person I was last month, let alone five years ago, and in the process of growth and transformation, I have discovered a kingdom that cannot be shaken and a totally new perspective on life: the kingdom perspective. (Hebrews 12:26-28)

We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. ― C.S. Lewis

This exemplifies the offer to live as kingdom citizens. How tragic when we are content with salvation alone and live our lives waiting to die to go to heaven, or worse, we live a divided life, still indulging in the things of this world.

Peace Above Circumstances

The kingdom reality has allowed me to experience peace above my circumstances. 

Peace is the presence of the Prince of Peace, Jesus. Through Jesus, we have access to peace beyond what makes sense. (Philippians 4:7) When I acknowledged Jesus as my King, Lord, and owner, my life started to change, and a peace that I had never experienced began to take hold. It remained regardless of the shaking, trials, and suffering I experienced. This peace is what enabled me to sleep well in the midst of the upheaval after my daughter Abbe’s death. It is a peace that has persisted regardless of business pressures and financial shaking in the midst of COVID-19 lockdowns, divorce, the sale of my family home, a corporate lawsuit, and a murder trial, all working in tandem. The peace of the kingdom is the Gospel of peace, which supersedes everything. This is the peace the world is desperately in search of and is only found in Jesus because peace is a person.

The kingdom reality has also allowed me to experience joy far above my circumstances. 

Joy is also a person, and His name is Jesus. I have discovered the blessing of joining in the sufferings of Jesus as He joins in my sufferings. In the same way that I am the pearl of great price Jesus died to save, He is my pearl of great price. Nothing can compare with the joy, comfort, and intimacy of knowing Him. (We choose how close we will come to Him. God is always inviting us to step closer. He is always at the door knocking.)

For our momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

—2 Corinthians 4:17-18, NASB

I regularly experience peace and joy in the midst of circumstances that would warrant the opposite emotion. The two coming together is what I describe as “calm delight.” The more I maintain my focus on God and a kingdom mindset, the more constant this kingdom reality becomes. For example, when I hear bad news or a very negative report, my peace remains as I know God is above everything. He is sovereign, all-powerful and all-knowing, and my trust is in Him alone. I know things are happening “for me” and not “to me.” 

So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together for good, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose. 

–Romans 8:28, TPT

Would you like a sneak peak of Bryan’s upcoming book, As in Heaven: Life in God’s Kingdom NOW? Get a FREE copy of The Kingdom Principles of Wealth and Business — that’s over 100 pages of As in Heaven