If you ever participated in drug rehabilitation counseling you would have likely witnessed a truly humbling process. It is when a ‘light’ in someone’s heart is turned on. After weeks and months of participating in group discussions, there usually is a point when some individual realizes why they have continually searched out abusive and unhealthy relationships. A statement is usually made along the lines of ‘I know now why I always pursued relationships when the person I was involved with was an alcoholic. It is because I never received the love of my alcoholic dad-and if another alcoholic cared for me, I thought they would fill the void left by my dad’. Many times there were tears of sadness but relief. From that point on they could let go of their old behavior and build a new life.
In our Christian life, there is a light that can also be turned on in our Spirit. It is the pursuit of ‘The Kingdom of God’. It will merge your heart with the purpose of God’s heart. Simply put, it will set your heart aflame with God’s purpose for this world. Jesus tells us that no other theological teaching can accomplish this.
Matt 13:45-46 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
Jesus claims that the pursuit of the Kingdom of God (heaven) has higher priority than any other teaching.
Matt 13:31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.
Matt 13:32 Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”
Jesus is telling us that this truth will start out small. In fact, He is indicating it will be the most neglected and under rated teaching in the Word. It will rise and become the most dominating truth in the Word, and therefore, all other teachings, truths will come and be supported by it.
There’s not only verses emphasizing the Kingdom of God, but chapters upon chapters (Matt. 13, 25, Mark 4, see site index-Kingdom of God) Yet most of us have never heard one entire sermon on pursuing His Kingdom (see His Greatest Teaching-Site Map). We will see all aspects of our Christian walk are embedded into our pursuit of Gods Kingdom. This includes evangelism, discipleship, church outreach, prophecy etc. A word of caution for the comfortable in church. Your concept of the organized church will never be the same. If you surrender your heart to His cause, Jesus says;
John 12:25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
Now that we have a glimpse of the value of this truth, let’s look at who preached the Kingdom of God.
1) John the Baptist Matt 3:1-2 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
2) Jesus Luke 4:43 But He (Jesus) said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”
Acts 1:3 He (Jesus) appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
3) All 12 apostles Luke 9:1-2 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. (Acts 8:12)
4) The 72 disciples Luke 10:1,9 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go…. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, `The kingdom of God is near you.’
5) Paul Acts 19:8 Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.
Acts. 28:23 They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God
Acts 28:30-31 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God * and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.
6) The church (or at least we should be) Luke 16:16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.
Luke 9:60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.
Brothers and sisters, you have just read what the church preached when Jesus and the first apostles proclaimed Gods truth. In the age of social media, it has become so difficult to pursue anything that takes over a few minutes of our time. Please take a stand and read more of His Word.
When Jesus teaches us to pray, He gives glory to the Father and says
Matt 6:9-10 “This, then, is how you should pray: ” `Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
The number one pursuit of God is to bring His will in heaven down to earth.
HEB 12:2 Jesus, …who for the joy set before him (the union of the God and the saints) endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Jesus is waiting at the throne
HEB 10:12-13 But when this priest (Jesus) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool,
His enemies will be made a footstool only when the church pursues the kingdom of God with all their hearts-and their lives.
Matt 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. The verse in Rev. 12:11 below teaches us that preaching as a testimony means pursuing the Kingdom of God with our very lives.
REV 12:9 The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
REV 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God,… REV 12:11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
We will see that when true men and women of God surrender their hearts and sacrifice their lives, the earth not only is shaken, but, also the heavens. The more we pursue the kingdom of God, the more Satan and darkness are bound (see verses below). When Satan, who blinds the hearts of so many of our loved ones is bound, the truth can begin to penetrate their hearts.
2 Cor. 4:4-6 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God…
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God.
Personal note: this is key to me. For my loved ones to see the truth, it takes a unified fight against darkness. I do not feel led to speak against all the activities in church, but I am convicted to the core to have the church wake up to fight together, and not replace Gods glorious light from heaven with a program or church agenda
The power to take Satan down as the worlds illegitimate ruler was established by Christ at the cross
Col. 2:15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
He has given us that authority and power by seating us with Him in a heavenly Kingdom.
Ephesians 2:6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
He has given us power over Satan, thus pursuing the kingdom of God is in essence taking back what God has rightfully given the church.
Matt 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
The great commission is pursuing and preaching the kingdom of God. It includes the salvation message (1 Cor. 1:23), but also incorporates discipleship, outreach and a total unification of a church without blemish.
Ephesians 5:27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Ephesians 4:13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Matt 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
God desires more than anything to be united with His children and show them the unlimited love He has for them (Ephesians 3:14-21). He is waiting for us to preach, teach and pursue the kingdom of God. It needs to be noted that there is no teaching in His Word that is effective if we are not obedient to His will, which includes the Kingdom of God. The sincere heart of a new ‘baby’ Christian will please the Father more than a prophet with a proud heart (1 Cor. 13). In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful aspects of the kingdom message. You can never receive it unless you humble yourself and surrender your heart, your ministry or denomination to find your role in His heavenly ministry. Nowhere in the Word does it teach build your ministry or denomination, the Lord does say however-
Matt 6:33 But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness.
The Samaritan women kept asking the Lord where she should worship God (which group to join) Jesus said
John 4:21-23 “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.. a time.. has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
When true worshipers (those who truly seek to glorify God) come together and seek Him with all their heart, Satan will be cast down. Gods wrath and reign will finally begin.
You have seen from the above verses Gods design for true power and revival can only come by the church ‘conquering’ what the Lord has given us through His Son on the cross. Like Israel taking possession of the occupied lands the Lord gave them, it takes a true fight. City by city, nation by nation, a unified church willing to fight darkness over building their ministry and denomination. The Lords army has different types of soldiers. Future articles will mention different aspects of His united kingdom (i.e) power, territories, knowledge, timing, suffering, authority, prayer etc. We will also see what Jesus specifically says is the key to defeat Satan. See Kingdom Video
Please keep in prayer about this pursuit. The message is truly like a mustard seed, it will not make itself into a mature plant in our spirit until we humble ourselves and ask God for it to take root and grow. Thank you for your prayers, they are truly so close to my heart.
May God bless His children by bringing us together in His deep love.