Jesus made a remarkable statement to His disciples: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Luke 11:2, NKJV). This was a futuristic prayer for the disciples, but not for Jesus. And it’s not futuristic for us either because it applies right now. Allow me to explain.
The Pharisees had problems with Jesus since He hadn’t come on the scene the way they expected. When He showed up-a Nazarene, a carpenter from a poor family, and a friend of prostitutes and mafia (tax collectors were the mafia of the day)-they didn’t buy in to Him as Messiah.
So they confronted Jesus and He answered: “The kingdom of God does not come with observation…For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21, NKJV)
“The kingdom…is within you”? Jesus was speaking of those who would be born again and filled with His Spirit. He had earlier promised to those who loved Him, “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32, NKJV).
But when was the kingdom to be given? Jesus’ disciples asked Him this nagging question after He was raised from the dead. Put yourself in their shoes. It was finally clear: Jesus, alive and well, was standing before these faithful followers-but where was the kingdom? They were still confused about this even just before His ascension.
They too were still looking for a physical kingdom to manifest itself. While looking for this literal throne on earth, they forgot His words: “The kingdom…is within you.” So He corrected their thinking:
“The times and occasions are set by my Father’s own authority, and it is not for you to know when they will be [the establishment of His physical kingdom upon His return]. But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power [the kingdom within].” (Acts 1:7-8, TEV)
“Filled with power” from the Holy Spirit to do what? Advance the kingdom! This was not only for them but also for us. Once the Holy Spirit came to dwell within humankind, the kingdom and all its power would be within us! We now possess the power to advance the kingdom in the hearts and lives of others. And we can now do the works Jesus did in advancing the kingdom—and even greater works!
Marked by boldness and passion, John Bevere delivers uncompromising truth through his award-winning curriculum and best-selling books now available in over sixty languages. His newest book is Extraordinary: The Life You’re Meant to Live. More information is available at ExtraordinaryOnline.org.