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Faith Imagined: Kingdom Faith

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

May 16, 2010

Kingdom Faith

I already wrote about how the Kingdom is Here, but now I want to explore how to access the Kingdom in each of us. I would like to stress that the word "kingdom" denotes a King -- The King, The Creator, The God. In order to have the fulfillment of God's Kingdom (His purpose) in our lives, we need to first have a relationship with the King. The only way we can have a relationship with King is through His Son, Jesus. Once we have a relationship with Jesus, we receive God's Spirit (Holy Spirit) to guide us. God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit are three separate components of God, but they are all God.

Jesus' life was foretold by the prophets (Isaiah 53.3-5 NIV) in the Old Testament and was fulfilled and documented in the New Testament (Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23 & John 19). During His ministry on earth, Jesus taught us to "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Matthew 4.17 NIV). There is an overall Kingdom fulfillment for this world that Jesus foreshadows in Luke 21; however, I believe that God has planted in each of us a Kingdom fulfillment.

I find it interesting that Jesus compared the Kingdom of Heaven to yeast. Yeast is dormant until it is placed in bread dough. (I believe that each of us have a Kingdom fulfillment, yet it will stay dormant until we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.) The yeast works on individual particles in the dough and transforms them. The end result is a sweet, yummy loaf of bread (John 6.51 NIV).

This Kingdom image leads me to believe that we all have a kingdom purpose to fulfill, which will be a part of the Kingdom purpose of all existence. God's Kingdom fulfillment has already been established. His Kingdom will come whether we participate or not. It will be a shame, though, to see Jesus coming down from the skies riding a flying horse and realizing that we snoozed through this life and never fulfilled our purpose (Revelation 19.11 NIV).

Humans have two parts: We are flesh and spirit. Genesis 2.7 explains that "the LORD God formed the man from the dust [flesh] of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [Spirit], and the man became a living being" (NIV). When we ask Jesus into our hearts, God plants His Kingdom purpose into our spirits. The only way we can fulfill our purpose is if we live in the spirit. The problem is that it is so much easier to live in the flesh. To live in the spirit takes A LOT of faith. The flesh and the spirit are always struggling for dominion. A person can not live divided. Either she is walking in the spirit or in the flesh. There is no middle ground.

So what do we do? How can we ensure we live in the spirit, so that we can fulfill our Kingdom purpose? The answer is easy, but it may not seem pleasing at first.... hardships.

God allows hardships in our lives for two main reason: First, they kill our flesh. As Christians, we need to desire the death of our flesh because, otherwise, we will never fulfill our Kingdom purpose. Since our flesh and spirit are constantly warring for control, God does us an absolute favor when He sends hardships our way to take out the flesh (Galatians 5.24, Romans 6.2, Romans 8.13). We will always be drawn to live in the flesh because it is just easier. If we allow God to beat down our flesh, we will more likely embrace the spirit.

Second, hardships build our faith. Faith is the key. According to our faith, will our Kingdom purpose be done (Matthew 17.20). I think it is interesting that we embrace physical exercise because we know it's going to build our bodies, yet we don't embrace hardships, which will build our faith. Every time we endure hardships and continue to believe God for His promises to us, our faith becomes stronger. We must have stellar faith in order to live in the spirit.

Faith is essential to fulfilling our Kingdom purpose. God is going to do something in us that will go against all odds (Matthew 19.26). We will need lots of faith to believe that He will work His beautiful plan through our messed-up lives (Philippians 1.6). The main way we build faith is through hardships. Hardships come in many forms, but we can claim victory to overcome them through Jesus Christ (1 John 5.3-5). When the sin of this world increases, God's grace increases (Romans 5.20). And we can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4.13).

I'm determined not to give-up when hardships come my way because I know that when my flesh is weak, my spirit will become strong (2 Corinthians 12.10). There is a battle between my flesh and spirit, and I want my spirit to win. It is only when we go through hardships, we can ensure that we fulfill the Kingdom purpose God has for us: "where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God" (Acts 14.22 NLT).

Therefore, let us face our hardships with determined victory because they bring to completion God's Kingdom fulfillment in our lives: "But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed" (1 Peter 4.13 NIV) and "Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory" (Romans 8.17 NIV).

What storms are you currently finding yourself in? How can you walk by faith and claim God's victory?

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Blogger Michelle said...

My husband just preached on the fire of testing this morning and how it removes the dross from our souls!

What an awesome article, Alisa! Our flesh wants life easy and runs from trials, but embracing them is the only way we can be refined through fire!

Have a blessed week!

6:12 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Blessings, hugs, and prayers,

10:14 PM  
Blogger christy rose said...

I just wrote on nearly the same thing yesterday. God is really trying to show me something for sure! :)

11:44 PM  
Blogger Lynda Young said...

I struggle through storms every day, but mostly they happen in my head. It happens when I try to hear my own voice rather than God's.

Great post! (as usual)

12:28 AM  
Blogger Braley Mama said...

Amen! Todays sermon at our church was not quenching the Spirit. Must be God telling me something today!!!!! Thank u!

12:44 AM  
Blogger V said...

True... toooooo true this is!
I sometimes sat and thought to myself "why is God letting this happen to me, can't he see my pain, why must I go through all these things that most people will never experience!?!!!!?"
You know all those times I sat crying asking God this, I was too deaf to hear that he is drawing me closer to him.
All those rotten times, i grew a lot in faith. From someone who believed to not believing and feeling the fire under my bum to now a firm believer!!!
He lights the fires for a reason!!

2:18 AM  
Blogger Family, Money and Stuff said...

"... hardships" That really hit me. It's true.

I was just talking with my husband yesterday about a frustrating situation I'm dealing with.

We concluded that this was an opportunity for me to be humbled - to be purified. For that I can be thankful.

I'm not 'getting it right', and my anger and frustration are so loud I can't hear the Spirit, but I know that God is working in this situation to purify me and build my faith. He also won't stop giving me opportunity to do it.

Thank you, God for loving me enough to train my stubborn heart!

8:31 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Amen! Great word, Alisa...a hard word...but so important...we always need to be growing in our faith.....

12:58 PM  
Blogger Finally Free said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. This was a great reminder for me. :)


3:19 PM  
Blogger Stuff could always be worse said...

I am getting that lesson very well, hardships do keep coming, but keep overcoming them

3:29 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

An excellent look at the kingdom of God present in each of us now :D

5:27 PM  
Blogger Alene said...

Thanks friend. I think I'm flexing and growing me some Kingdom muscles. I love Jesus! I love you!

7:57 PM  
Blogger Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Hardships aren't fun, but I am thankful for them. Especially when they are over. :0)

8:13 PM  
Blogger V said...

I nominated YOU for a blog award, so GO FETCH IT!

Oo Oo thanks a ton for the compliments, I love the Bible cover, hehe. Must I make you one

1:21 AM  
Blogger May said...

Storms are unavoidable in this life, Jesus have revealed that God's kingdom will eliminate these storms by removing those who are bent from those that are straight.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Randi Troxell said...

thank you as always... i just drink it all you type...

10:42 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Loved your post and thank you for sharing. So encouraging!
We can always learn so much from hardships-they are painful but how we learn!!

11:10 AM  
Blogger Michele said...

This was a very good post so happy I stopped in to read! Thanks for sharing!


12:27 PM  
Blogger Talkin' Texan said...

This is a very good post. Too many times we want to believe that the Christian life should be made up of all things that seem good and pleasant. Not so! Thanks for voicing this reminder.
And thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment! Please come back regularly--I'd like to get to know you. :)

Blessings to you,

12:47 PM  
Blogger kanishk said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Thanks so much for visiting
my blog and leaving your
kind comment.
God's Grace,

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Esther said...

Sometimes embracing God's will is hard! But it's always worth it...

7:38 AM  
Blogger One Heart said...

Awesome words, Alisa. I highly believe in living on the way to living and by that I mean not just waiting to go to heaven but advancing His Kingdom on this earth even through our hardships which are all good in the end because they make us more like Him. Indeed they do kill the flesh and build our faith.

Thank you for stopping by my little corner. Glad we can visit.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Together We Save said...

Beautiful post!!

2:02 PM  
Blogger OceanDreams said...

What a touching post, I loved it. Right now I've been going through anxiety which is really hard for me to let go of and fully put my trust in God! It may be simple to do but for me it is a challenge to truly surrender and not let this weakness hurt my spirit! Thanks for your sweet comments, I hope you are doing well!

6:20 PM  
OpenID bluecottonmemory said...

This is so true on so many different levels. I am watching an older teen war with the flesh and the spirit - and it breaks my heart, but he has to fight that battle right now. I cannot do it for him, though I can pray for him.

And the hardships right now - fight or flight - I so want to go back "home" where we moved from. At times I have felt abandoned by God but I know He has not abandoned me. My family is being attacked from so many different angles. God said "Go" - we did. The scripture about when you've done all else "just stand" - no talking, no fancy foot work, no bright ideas, just numbness and standing in faith!I think that's what "just stand" means - but never backing away from God!

9:51 PM  

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