A Glimpse of what Living in the Kingdom Looks Like – Tim Whitaker

Happy New Years everyone.  I wanted to share a thought I’ve been having today, so here it is.

Every year my friend Jerry hosts a New Years Eve Party that lasts from 10 P.M New Years Eve to 10 A.M New Years day.  Of course people stay till 4 P.m New Years day, in fact that’s where I am typing from now, At Jerry’s house.   Keep this thought in the back of your head.

The Kingdom of God is awesome, and it’s hard to completely define, but one thing is for sure, when the church (the people) realize what their mission is as God’s people, to usher the Kingdom of God on to earth and to declare the gospel.  They start to change everything around them.  It is so important for us as Christians to realize that when we are gathered together at any time, from Sunday Morning, to dinner at a friends house, we are participating in the Kingdom of God here on earth.  When we realize that everything we are doing here on earth has major spiritual implications, we then realize that even things we don’t always see as “spiritual” activity’s are now completely spiritual.  Let me give you an example.

at 12. A.M the ball dropped, I screamed happy new year with 60 people and we ran outside banging pots and pans for about 15 minutes.  After that we came back in and danced our hearts out for the next 45 minutes.  The bass was booming and people were dancing, and in that moment it was Holy.  It was Holy because we realized what we were doing.  We weren’t just dancing.  We were dancing with Jesus, we were participating in the Kingdom of God celebrating a new year.  Guys who never dance, were right in the middle looking like fools (mainly me), and did not care at all about how they looked.  Because the point wasn’t the individual, it was the group, it was the collective group celebrating together a new year.  At that moment the church of God was gathered in someones house, blasting music and being goofy human beings laughing, dancing, and singing all while God was right in the middle.

The night didn’t stop there, it was filled with discussions about the church, missions, and the gospel around a camp fire with new friends that we met that night.  While people were discussing around a fire outside, other people were in a heated mario kart tournament, others were asleep, others were reading, others were upstairs eating.  By 4.30 there was a massive poker tournament while a few friends cooked breakfast for everyone and by 8 we had transformers 3 on.  At this point me and my cousin Joe left to go sleep at his house for a few hours, but people were at Jerry’s house until 4. p.m.  And now about 10 of us are back at Jerry’s watching the football game.   Some are playing poker, I’m typing a blog, and others are wearing Giants jersey’s and cheering their butts off.  It’s wonderful because as I look around I see the Kingdom.  I’m seeing a glimpse of heaven.  Community, conversation, unity, all with God in the center of it all.  Without our faith it’s empty.  Without Jesus this weekend was just a nice party.  But because of what Jesus did on the cross, because we are able to be restored to God, this weekend was Holy.  This weekend the Kingdom of God was at Jerry’s house and it was a blast.

If we limit our view of our spirituality to just “spiritual” things then we miss out on 90% of what God is trying to show us.  Let’s face it even the most devoted Christian is in a spiritual setting at the most maybe 4 times a week.  If we assume that God only works in those times, then we assume that in the other times, God is not really interested in what we are doing.  We assume that God isn’t interested in talking to us, or walking with us when we are doing things like grocery shopping, or watching a movie, or working out.  We separate (not necessarily on purpose) our spiritual time from our “non” spiritual time.  This however is a foreign idea in the Bible.

First there is no word for “spiritual” in the Hebrew scriptures.  For the Jewish people everything they did had spiritual implications because we are spiritual beings.  the word breath we see in Genesis 2:7 doesn’t just mean to literally breathe. It also means spirit.  So when God “breathed” in to man he gave man his spirit.  We are the only created being that is part spiritual (breath of God) and part physical (from the dust). This truth should completely change the way we see the word “spiritual”.  Everything we do is spiritual because we are spiritual beings.

When you connect the dots you see quickly that the Holy spirit is the presence of God dwelling inside of us.  That means that wherever we walk, the Kingdom of God is walking with us.  God is not limited to the times that we have decided to make more spiritual than others.   This is not to say that Sunday mornings, youth group, other “church” events are bad.  Not at all, but what I’m suggesting is that it can not stop there.  Because God doesn’t stop there.  Wether we choose to believe it or not, God is going everywhere that we go.  That means that now everything we do God is a part of.  When six of my brothers and I are sitting around a table playing poker, God is right there with us in the middle of it.  When I’m watching football, God is right there with me.  Why not talk to Him?  God doesn’t need us, but He desires us.  He created us for His pleasure and He desires to know us, and he desires us to know Him.

What that looks like is for another post. 🙂

Blessings.  Where you walk, the Kingdom of God walks.

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6 responses to “A Glimpse of what Living in the Kingdom Looks Like – Tim Whitaker

  1. Way to start the new year off with something to put in your pipe and smoke. Fascinating, insightful and expansive view of who, what, when and how we are to be the church. A couple of things rattle around the edges of my religious box that I need to sift through, but wow what if enough of us truly believe this and live it? We are talking dangerous territory here: lives transformed, communities restored, worship not contained by music for an hour on Sundays, but oozing from our very being in all we say, sing and do. Amazing! Let’s do it. Let’s live for real as the church.

  2. TIm, this is an incredible post. Having been there last night, I can truly understand and agree with what you wrote. Our lives as believers most certainly should not be limited to just religious things, we do, as you stated, would miss out on so much God has to say to us. Being around godly community, even if not talking directly about God or the Church, etc., instills a connection to God just the same, as well as to His Body. I feel revived, alive, and full of His joy because of living life with other believers. Good post Tim!

  3. The spiritual world existed before the physical world. To put our physical life as a separate entity from the spiritual is somewhat prideful. The moment we are born, our eternal begins.

  4. Tim,

    Something that I thought about as I read this over (especially the “spiritual” paragraph) is Philippians 4:8-9. Let me quote them for you:

    “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

    I have heard these verses referred to as “The Grid”. A mesh of scripture that everything we do should pass through. I have often had to re-evaluate what movies I let pass before my eyes because I couldn’t see how they lined up with these scriptures. I think you nailed it on the head Tim, everything matters! Not only does it matter because we are all part of the Kingdom but it matters to the extent of how much we will enjoy the heavenly kingdom. There are degrees of punishment in Hell and there will be degrees of reward in heaven. It doesn’t matter how many people are joining in on the fun, if it doesn’t match up with these verses… it is doing more harm then good. Likewise, it doesn’t matter how many times you are alone or with just a few people but your life is in unison with this grid…. it will have a reward in Heaven because you are following the command of Christ.

    We carry God with us wherever we go… which means we better make sure where we go is somewhere God would go, what we say is something God would say, what we watch is something God would watch, what we listen to is something God would listen to.

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