To live in a kingdom culture, we need to know what values and practices define the Kingdom of God. It would help us to define the characteristics of the kingdom of God if we could find those places in the Bible where the Kingdom of God is being practiced perfectly – where we can say with certainty that God’s will is being done on earth as it is in Heaven.
There are two places where we see God’s will being done perfectly here on earth. The first is in the first chapters of Genesis, before sin corrupts God’s plan for his relationship with people. The second is in the life of Jesus. Since Genesis comes first, we will start there.
Innocence – God had a plan for how humans were to see themselves in relation to Him. He wanted us to see ourselves as innocent of all sin. This is how Adam and Eve related to God in the garden of Eden: Gen. 2:25 “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” To be naked is to be fully known and transparent. To be fully known and transparent AND feel no shame is to be innocent. It is God’s will that we relate to him through complete innocence. It is Satan’s will that we relate to God and one another through shame.
The first thing that God did, when you decided to accept Jesus’ death on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for your sins, was to restore your innocence to you! Can you remember how you felt when you realized all your sin was completely removed from you? That was innocence restored!
Do you still start every day experiencing that innocence? Most of us don’t because our enemy, the devil spends all day everyday reminding us of our failure. He wants to talk us out of our innocence because if he can do that our shame will keep us away from coming to our Father as well-loved and accepted, innocent children. Either we don’t want to come to Him because of our failures [shame] or we decide to clean ourselves up to make ourselves worthy of His love and attention. Sadly, this never works because we cannot make ourselves holy enough for Him – only He can do that!
Living in a Kingdom culture involves daily reminding ourselves and each other, that His grace has made us innocent and we are always welcomed into His arms! The Kingdom is empowered by grace. We are to be a people who live grace, for ourselves and then for others.
Next week we will post the video of Mark sharing on this topic on his recent visit to Guadalajara.