11. Kingdom

"Thy Kingdom come." We know that the Kingdom of God is his Spirit in our hearts. "The Kingdom of God is within you", so said Jesus (Luke 17:21). But what does it mean to be in God's kingdom? What will happen in your life? Should you really be praying for this to happen? Do you really want this?

Now we are headed toward serious religion. This acknowledges that God has a plan and we want it put into effect. Until now, we were simply discussing the nature of God and his program. We are now asking him to put his program into effect. Can we justify taking this radical step? Easily done!

Common sense tells us that if everyone lived under God's "Golden Rule" and in "brotherly love," there would not be any man-made problems in the world. There wouldn't be any need for police, defense budgets, government regulators, watch dogs, locks, fences, or any program for self-protection. We could cut our taxes and put all efforts into correcting social ills and satisfying individual needs. Family problems would disappear, as would divorce and its consequences.

But if common sense tells us that is a good idea, our selfish interests reject it. We think God has a good plan but does not have the muscle and mind to make it work for "me." So, we must continue to look out for "number one" because God can't, or won't. This works until it doesn't work.

When we really understand that we need God's help in looking out for number one, then we can honestly pray this phrase. This requires an honest step of faith that we haven't exercised before. It requires putting God's needs in front of our needs. We must conclude that God comes first, knows best, can deliver, and that we are no better than second.

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