A Tale of Two Kingdoms

Posted: January 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

9“…No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.”

10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 11 No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. 12 And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.

…But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.” (I Corinthians 2:9-13, 16 NLT).

Can you grasp what Paul is saying here? No one knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit inside that man. And whose Spirit lives inside of us? It is the Spirit of God.

As we go through life we experience ups and downs, struggles and challenges, highs and lows. This is normal and it will never change, but how we deal with these times can dramatically change. How did Jesus deal with temptation? He spoke the Word. How did he address sickness? He commanded it to go. And He expects us to respond the same way because we have the mind of Christ.

To live the life that God has for us is to live the life of Christ in us, but for the most part we fail to recognize this in our day to day lives. Instead we struggle with our demons in the form of habitual sins and addictions, when in reality the struggle is over. The problem is rather than denying sin to have a place in our life by crucifying the flesh as Paul tells us in Galatians 5:24, we’re trying to teach it to be like Jesus.

Let me put it another way. We live in two kingdoms. We live in the natural kingdom – the one we can see, hear, and feel, but we also live in the spiritual kingdom – the one that we experience by faith. Both kingdoms have laws that govern how they operate. The problem is, we can only be in one kingdom at a time. If we choose to live in the natural kingdom we are governed by the laws of the flesh. If we choose to live in the spiritual kingdom, we are governed by the laws of the Spirit.

So let’s say today I am going to work. As I am driving in I am listening to my favorite Christian radio station, praising God and being blessed by His presence. Then I get to the office and check my email only to find that this Friday my company plans to lay off three people from my department. I Immediately I have a choice to make. Do I want to spend the next few days in the natural kingdom allowing fear to control me or do I want to spend it in the spiritual kingdom where I have confidence that no matter what happens God will provide for my every need? Just moments ago as I was listening to the radio in my car praising God, I was firmly planted in the spiritual kingdom, but now I stand at a crossroad. Which kingdom will I choose?

Most of us don’t make a conscious effort to live in one kingdom or another. Most of us live in the natural kingdom and visit the spiritual kingdom when we need a break. But what if the spiritual kingdom, or rather the Kingdom of the Spirit were the norm? How would your life and your choices be different? In Galatians 5 Paul called it living in the Spirit.

Let’s face it. In this life we are going to have troubles. We live in a fallen, corrupt world, but Jesus said, “take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

And we can take heart because not only did He overcome the world, but He has given us the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us… the mind of Christ.

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