Monday, August 22, 2011
KING OF THE HILL
On a recent trip to the North Dakota badlands, we enjoyed watching the prairie dogs. They’re very social mammals, and I call their villages “kingdoms.” It’s hard to tell which one is king of each kingdom, however. Many of them stand upright and erect on top of their house, which is a big mound of soil, almost as if they’re vying for the privilege of being king of the hill.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES By Sally Bair
Where is Our Kingdom?
A dog’s domain is his doghouse or kennel, his yard or his farm. A wolf and its pack claim a specific territory for its own, and heaven help anything that invades that space. We humans tend to be territorial, too. We jealously guard our homes, property, and accumulated goods against intruders. We count ourselves owners of our jobs, our families, and our hard-earned leisure time. In other words, we consider ourselves, whether consciously or subconsciously, kings of our castles.
Our “kingdom” is where we spend most of our time, our thoughts, and our indulgences. Some of us acquired our property through family inheritance. Others of us earned our way to the top, becoming “king” through hard work and expense. Still others consider themselves king of the very little they possess. Any way you look at it, we strive to be king of our domain.
There is a kingdom, however, that goes beyond the natural—the kingdom of God. When Jesus lived on earth, the Jews looked for a king who would bring them freedom from the oppressive rule of the Roman Empire. What Jesus brought, instead, was the divine power of God in action—salvation from sin, spiritual power over Satan’s rule and dominion, healing and deliverance, and “a life of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17)
The Bible tells us we are to seek God’s kingdom daily by resisting sin, the devil, and the world’s enticements. His kingdom is not for those who take lightly the discipline of prayer nor neglect the reading and meditation of the Word. Nor is it for those who have little spiritual hunger or desire to know God better.
His kingdom is more like that of Jacob, from the Old Testament, who wrestled with God all night in order to obtain his blessing. His kingdom is like that of Elijah who challenged the Baal worshipers to a power-duel because he knew that his God, the One True God, would prevail over Baal, their man-made god. His kingdom is like that of Daniel’s three friends who were supernaturally rescued from a burning furnace because they insisted on worshiping and believing only in the One True God.
For those who believe, the kingdom of God offers salvation, safety, peace, joy, and “unspeakable riches.” No other kingdom can offer that. It’s ours for the mere asking and believing.
Lord, we thank you that your kingdom of power and glory can be ours. We ask that only You—not any other “god”—will rule in our hearts, minds, and souls. In Jesus’ Name, amen.