Being a Kingdom Family

We Clarks have been told we have a pitiful sense of humor, a bizarre sense of humor, a dry sense of humor and even a sick sense of humor – but never NO sense of humor.  Therefore, when I recently saw a bumper sticker, while out shopping with the fam, and was overcome by the incredible desire to do a Daffy Duck impression (come on – you know – bouncing from head to feet? “Woo hoo!  Woo hoo!” that kind of thing??) I felt confident that it wasn’t due to my lack of a sense of humor.  (Despite the fact that I’m certain that is what they were attempting to appeal to.)

Instead, I found myself gritting my teeth and fighting the desire to have Jeff pull the guy over and let me just toink him square in the nose.  (And I mean toinking the guy, not Jeff, just for clarification.)    🙂 “Jesus is coming back soon – look busy!”  That’s what it said.

Now, at the very least, I object to the implications that holds about a Christian work ethic.  However, while that irks me, it doesn’t even belong on the same Richter scale as my response to the poison that infiltrates into our minds that causes us to look to the return of our Lord with such a shallow and weak sense of our own responsibility!  (Did I ever mention that I tend toward the passionate?)

We have been in an accelerated course for learning how to be a Kingdom Family this past year.  Yes, it was hard.  Yes, it was sweet.  NO, neither I nor Jeff, nor the kids would trade it for anything!  Why?  Because we are learning more about our Lord and His Word and we are seeing how God is positioning the Body of Christ to be just that – His Body, here on earth. A Kingdom Family.

So, what do I mean when I say a Kingdom Family?  Well, I mean being a people who are more aware of the Kingdom that they belong to, than of the Kingdom that they are currently living in.  Does that sound like we’re snorting something illegal? Maybe eating some strange herbs in our granola? Let me help you out here.

We have neighbors that rent to several Hispanic families.  We can always tell when a new family comes from the “old country” and moves in.  We see them walking about in Indiana weather, dressed for Mexican weather.  For example, there is a Grandmother that moved in there and she wandered about our town wearing a summer dress, with sandals in 20 degree weather.  It didn’t take long before she was walking around in all her dresses, but still no coat, still no boots.  And while she would tentatively smile and wave when she walked by, she was still confused by our light skin, our blond hair (most of us here, anyway) and our winter clothes.  She would speak, if we addressed her, but she was still a bit leery of us.

The families that are coming from the old country are more aware of the Kingdom that they belonged to than the Kingdom that they were living in. Their own Kingdom is more real to them than the one that they are now living in.  That Grandmother should have been freezing, but it took her weeks to start adding layers and she never did wear boots or a winter coat – even though they were offered to her. (By the time the second winter rolled around, she had changed her mind and that coat was looking pretty good!)  edit: even as I was typing this, a new family pulled up at the house and despite the current snowing condition, one of the women got out of her car wearing flip-flops.  More awareness of the Kingdom she belonged to than the current one, FOR SURE. 🙂

I find it interesting that the Word refers to us as aliens.  Aliens are people who belong to a different Kingdom than the one that they are living in – or visiting,  depending on the length of the stay.  🙂  🙂  They may or may not look different.  They may or may not sound different.  But, the one thing that they are lacking is the legal right to be a part of the Kingdom that they are visiting.  They have no legal rights in that Kingdom.

Every Kingdom has legal rights or it wouldn’t be a Kingdom. (Can’t have a kingdom without a king and no king worth his crown is going to neglect to have laws and rights for his kingdom.)   So, when Jesus is praying and He says, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done….”  why is it that I didn’t see that He was praying –  not for His future Kingdom, but this one?  You know, the one we’re told to seek first, along with His righteousness?  Yeah, that one.

When we acknowledge that we’re aliens – and Scripture is pretty clear that we are – then that must mean we belong to a different Kingdom than the one here on earth.  AND since Jesus says we’re to pray that God’s Kingdom would come, it would seem that we have a responsibility to foster that coming, wouldn’t it?  While I used to think that He meant when He returned, God’s Kingdom would come. But, then I realized He links it to God’s will also coming.  As a parent, I’m not willing for my children to wait to perform my will until Jesus’ return, so I’m pretty confident that God isn’t wanting to wait until Jesus returns before we submit to and walk in His will either.  So, because those two things are linked hand in hand, I must assume that this is a current issue, not one for the future.

When we started this whole process, I think the Lord had me spend (I should say “WE” as Jeff was in the same boat) 5 months praying through “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness”…. what does it mean?  How do we do that?  Can we do it?  What does it look like? etc, etc, etc.  Because the Word tells us that if we seek we will find, SO, we decided that if we needed to seek it, then we should expect that we would find it.  And I believe that we have been finding more and more of it, through the past year.

Please understand, I don’t pretend to have a full grasp on this.  If I did pretend that, I would hope you would a) pray like crazy for me and b) confront my arrogance and sin and c) pray like crazy some more.  🙂   But, even without a full understanding, there is a measure of looking around at things that are taking place in your midst and saying, “Hey, this isn’t the Kingdom I belong to.  This Kingdom – or at least the pretension of one – belongs to another.”  When you’re looking at life that way, I suspect you will find that there are things that you are doing that are based in tradition – or even religion – that are of no value, no importance and no assistance to the Kingdom that we DO belong to.

My challenge to you this new year is to quiet yourself before your King – ask Him to begin showing you what it means to live in HIS Kingdom.  Ask Him to show you what you might be believing that is keeping you from operating in His Kingdom.  And if you’re feeling TRULY brave, ask Him to show you what your Kingdom rights are – you may be surprised at His answer.  (I know we sure were.)

Please know that either way, I will be praying for you.  (I pray for all who read here.)    🙂   And next I’ll share with you what we have found to be the earmarks of a Kingdom Family…at least the ones Father has laid on our hearts, anyway.

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Comments
4 Responses to “Being a Kingdom Family”
  1. Kristine says:

    I’m looking forward to hearing more…

    Please don’t let the lack of comments keep you from posting.

    You gave us a LOT to think about in this post.

    • javadawn says:

      🙂 Kristine, I have been so busy this week, I haven’t even had time to think about posting. BUT, I will get to it, I promise!!
      This issue burns in my heart like fire sometimes.

      I must say, however, that I do appreciate the exhortation (ie: kick in the behind)!! 😆 😆

  2. Holly says:

    Yes…this is something that I am seeing and learning too. The Kingdom, here and now, not only future.

  3. javadawn says:

    Holly, It’s those “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” words that catch me every time! 🙂

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