Jesus did not come to give us a religion, but He came to give us a kingdom (Matt 12:28). What Adam lost in the garden was not just a garden but a kingdom. The issue of the kingdom is the whole essence of salvation. New birth is simply a translation from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His dear son (Col 1:13).
The kingdom of God has its benefits; Jesus said in Matt 6:33, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and all these shall be added unto you”. Everything men seek after are packaged in store for those who will discover and abide in the kingdom. If you’ve ever been on board in an aircraft, you will agree with me that your ticket qualifies you for some light refreshment and other benefits which you won’t have to pay for. So also, salvation is your ticket to the kingdom and in it are numerous benefits.
The kingdom of God is not an abstract, but a reality; it is an experience and a journey that continues till eternity. As joint heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17), it is important for us to understand that our unshaken attachment to Him is the only guarantee for enjoying kingdom benefits. Jesus did not come to institute a tantalizing religion, but a lifestyle that involves self denial and unwavering fellowship of daily carriage of the cross. This is more than a mere confession but a transformation into a man/woman who is in love with Christ and whose life is totally sold out to fulfilling divine purpose. To such man/woman, nothing else matter: “take the whole world and give me Jesus” becomes the only urge left in such an individual. This is what I call Kingdom Addiction.
From the time of John the Baptizer until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing and forceful people have been seizing it. Matt 11:12 (GW)
The kingdom of God is a kingdom in motion and it only takes those who are aggressive to lay hold on it. This is nothing close to the current order of “child’s play Christianity” that we see everywhere today. The kingdom of God is not for jokers, but it is for those who are ready to go with the master all the way. If your most concern for seeking this kingdom is based on what you will gain, then you are set to loose the kingdom.
It is very sad what the church is experiencing today, with the way the gospel is being preached. Unbelievers are now being “enticed” to the kingdom based on what God will do for them and it is no longer on the basis of self denial and total surrender. Though we have a promise of those things that makes for comfortable life in the kingdom, but it is far from what should motivate anyone to receive the kingdom.
According to Rom 14:17
“for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
The primary aim of the gospel of the kingdom is to bring unbelievers in contact with the living God and introduce them to the Holy Spirit. We should understand it clearly at this point that, the kingdom of God is a sphere under the control of the Holy Spirit. The kingdom of God is not a local church assembly or a religious gathering, but every place or lives that are controlled by the Holy Spirit.
The mark of the kingdom is the working of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. “for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God” Rom 8:14. The kingdom of God is designed for sons and not bastards. Jesus is looking for kingdom addicts who are moved by nothing but His words and who will risk their lives, if need be to obey His leading (Rev 12:11 ; Esther 4:16). As you are reading this piece, your case may require a fresh start with God. I tell you, it is an opportunity for you right now, it is never too late to begin afresh. May God help you.
The mark of an addict
Lets go back to Rom 14:17 that we read earlier and examine what the mark of a kingdom addict is. There is a mark that a kingdom addict is recognized with, both in the spiritual and often times in the physical. Apostle Paul said “Henceforth, let no man trouble me; for I bear branded on my body the marks of Jesus” Gal 6:17 (ASV). Follow me as we unravel these marks of a kingdom addict.
…Mark of Righteousness
The kingdom of God is a kingdom of righteousness and anyone who must identify with it must walk in absolute righteousness. Every kingdom addict carries with him the mark of right standing with God: “How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God” Gen 39:9. Standing right with God will oftentimes mean standing against the crowd. You cannot be a people’s man and still retain your kingdom identity. Righteousness does not jump on a person, it is worked at. “But like as He who called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living.” 1Peter 1:16. If the spirit of the kingdom is holy, whose son will you be if you still walk in unrighteousness? Start living right today. Lets go further to examine the mark of peace.
…Mark of Peace
The Spirit of the kingdom is a Spirit of peace (Rom 8:6, Gal 5:22). Peace is a logo on anyone residing in the kingdom of God. Jesus is the prince of peace (Isa 9:6) and He is our access to the kingdom of God. The instruction of the Holy Spirit culminates in peace, which is the identity of a kingdom addict. If your life and ministry or business is void of peace, you are likely to be far from the kingdom of God. Absolute reliance on the leading of the leading of the Holy Spirit is the identity of a kingdom addict. Also on them is the mark of peace towards everyone which qualifies them to see God (Heb 12:14).
Lastly on this subject, lets look at the mark of joy.
…Mark of Joy
Joy is one of the major mark a kingdom addict is recognized with. You cant draw any benefit from the kingdom without joy (Isa 12:3). Kingdom addicts are not moved by what is happening around them, they are always joyful even in the face of challenges. Apostle Paul, on his way to Jerusalem was confronted with a lot of discouragement, but he was not moved; Act 21:13. Being joyful is a crazy thing, because you can be joyful even in the face of terrible odds.
Pray that your eyes of understanding be enlightened, for you to see the ultimate need to become a kingdom addict. On the last day, God will not reward you for the number of successful ministry or movements that you belongs to, but it will be on the basis of your relevance to the kingdom agenda. And unless you are ready to trade everything else to buy the kingdom, your journey have started (Matt 13:44).
Before we close this discussion, lets look at ways by which one can become kingdom addict.
- Discover the way to the Kingdom through devotion of your attention to the word of God (which is the map to the kingdom). Every word of God is a pointer to what the kingdom of God is like. You can be a member of a local church assembly or even a minister and yet be ignorant of the way to the kingdom. (Matt 7:21). Begin your navigation today through the help of the Holy Spirit.
- Inculcate the lifestyle of the kingdom after you discover it. Don’t continue in your former life again, but begin to develop a way of life that matches with that of the kingdom as outlined in the scripture (Phil 2:5).
- Stay in the kingdom, no matter what is happening elsewhere. There must be strong and unwavering abiding in the kingdom for anyone to be addicted. You must not have an alternative to this kingdom (John 15:4-6). Part of your stay in the kingdom involves your quality service to God which is the hallmark of your relevance.
- Defend the kingdom by ensuring its advancement and also its expansion. “seek ye first the kingdom of God and its righteousness (its way of doing)… Matt 6:33. You must cherish and work towards the unity of saints and not to divide them. Your care must be genuine for young convert to establish them rather than condemn them. You must also defend the body of Christ everywhere you go.
Lastly, Christ is looking for addicted followers who loved not their life even unto death (Rev 12:11). And today He has found you, don’t drop this leaflet without making a determination of forsaking all and following Him. Get addicted to heaven’s purpose today and your life will never remain the same. God bless you.