Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
Kingdom Civics

The Kingdom Mindset

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Matthew 13.45, 46

A question of value

A casual survey of the contemporary moral, political, and economic situation will reveal that the Kingdom characteristics of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit do not seem to be the determining factors in the way things are. Which is a little difficult to understand, given that, in this country at least, such a large percentage of the population claims to be Christian, even to be born again.

 

I daresay if 40% of the American people were jihadists, we would be living in a very different society than at present. The fact is that the vast majority of those associated with the Name of Jesus Christ, and, by inference, the Kingdom He came to bring near, have very little of the kind of mindset which is essential for raising the visibility and furthering the progress of that Kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven.

 

As we have seen, those who see the Kingdom as it really is – the promise of liberty, righteousness, and power that it proffers – desire it above all else; they can become fairly aggressive in seeking to possess that Kingdom for themselves. The first Christians, chased from their homes by persecution, fled in all directions, taking the message of the Kingdom with them with such enticing power that the Gospel quickly became established in regions beyond Jerusalem and Judea (Acts 8-13). These first believers valued the Kingdom and all its promise more than their own familiar and secure surroundings – indeed, more than their own lives. They knew it to be a possession more valuable than anything they might hold in this world, so they readily gave up everything to know, seek, and advance the rule of King Jesus wherever they went.

 

When we desire the Kingdom, and are determined to seek it as our first priority in life, we will succeed in this desire to the extent that we understand the Kingdom of God and set our minds to obtain it above all else.

 

But what does this entail? What kind of mindset must we nurture if seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness is going to characterize us more consistently?

 

Aspects of a Kingdom mindset

Those who desire the Kingdom must begin to put in place the kind of Kingdom mindset that will enable them to realize the object of their desires. Having a heart for the Kingdom of God – desiring it above all else – is the place to begin. But realizing the desire of our hearts – to gain and possess the Kingdom increasingly – will be quite impossible without a mind set on the Kingdom to guide all our thinking, choosing, and living.

 

There are four key disciplines for developing a Kingdom mindset. We have to work at these continuously, because the noise and distraction of our secular and material age can easily cause us to lose our focus on the larger objective to which we have been called in practicing the Kingship of Jesus. We have to learn how to fill our minds with the promise and ways of the Kingdom, so that we can evaluate all our activities in that light and develop plans for steady Kingdom progress.

 

Let’s look more closely at each of these.

 

The promise of the Kingdom: A mind set on the Kingdom of God is under the thrall of the promise of God’s Kingdom – the promise of power to live in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. The more understand the value of these qualities, and the more we are able to keep them in mind at all time, the less appealing and alluring will be the ways of the world.

 

We can improve this aspect of our Kingdom mindset by studying the teaching of Scripture and the writings of great saints about this pearl of great price. Presidential candidates will often lay out a vision for their administrations, even to the point of giving them names – The New Deal, The New Frontier, The Great Society. Such visions are meant to inspire prospective voters and to guide policies, programs, and agendas.

 

The Kingdom of God is its own vision, rich with the prospect of grace and truth abounding to sinners, and the glory of the Lord covering the earth as the waters cover the sea. The more we study this vision and fix the promise of it in our minds, the stronger will be our mindset to seek the Kingdom we desire so earnestly.

 

The ways of the Kingdom: At the same time, we must devote ourselves to learning the ways of the Kingdom – the ways of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14.17). The Spirit works with the Word of God, so, naturally, we shall want to continue growing in knowledge of and love for Scripture. The Spirit moves us to bear witness. He bestows gifts to be used in ministry; brings forth fruit of a particular kind; and instructs us in the Law of God for everyday living (Acts 1.8; 1 Cor. 12.7-11; Gal. 5.22, 23; Ezek. 36.26, 27). The ways of the Kingdom of God are the ways of God’s Spirit; the more we strive to be filled with Him, and to walk in Him, the more we shall find the ways of the Kingdom coming to expression in our lives (Eph. 5.15-21; Gal. 5.16-23).

 

Kingdom evaluations: Part of being filled with the Spirit involves making the best use of our time (Eph. 5.15-17). In the Kingdom of God all decisions, choices, activities, opportunities, and relationships have eternal significance. If we are not careful to evaluate each of these – before we engage them, while we are involved in them, and after we have finished – we may fail to make the most of our time and, thus, forfeit an opportunity to advance the rule of King Jesus. By bringing the light of Kingdom understanding and Kingdom ways into every situation of our lives, we focus our growing Kingdom mindset on specific everyday opportunities, and we will find that mindset to be an effective practical guide for everyday Kingdom living.

 

A Kingdom course: Make your plans in life, for every aspect of life, according to the vision, ways, and evaluations characteristic of your growing Kingdom mindset (Ps. 90.12, 16, 17). Plan as much as you can, and take your plans before the Lord for His approval and affirmation (Jms. 4.13-17). The more we can prepare our minds in advance to do the right thing in every situation – the Kingdom thing – the greater is the likelihood that this is what we actually will do. Make Kingdom plans, and let none of your plans depart from the vision and ways of the Kingdom you are daily learning to live.

 

Desiring the Kingdom is the place to begin in seeking it, but this must be supplemented by a deliberate and ongoing effort to nurture a Kingdom mindset. Together, these two, faithfully pursued, will establish Kingdom-seeking as the default priority of our souls.

Read about Patrick and his work in the Kingdom of Christ in T. M.’s book, The Legacy of Patrick, from our online store.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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