The Ways of the Kingdom (Part IV)

The Bible tells us that “...the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds…” (See 2 Corinthians 10:4). When it comes to fighting, the Kingdom of God operates the opposite of the ways of the world. Winning in the Kingdom of God is about seeing people’s hearts and minds changed by the power of the gospel!

Jesus told His disciples that “… the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” (See Matthew 11:12b). The Kingdom of God is continually under attack by the enemy planting doubt, distractions, and indifference in people’s lives. He wants to steal people’s identities, so they can start acting like animals and operate on self-survival mode. However, God’s people fight by being forceful through faith, hope, and love.  When we come in the opposite spirit and show the fruit of the spirit under pressure, we defeat the enemy and thwart his plans. This opens the door to reconciliation of people’s relationships with God and with men.

The Apostle Paul wrote about putting on the spiritual armor that protects every believer from the  deceits of the world. Since the battle begins in our minds, we need to guard it by knowing the Lord has accepted us and belong to Him because of Jesus. We also need to continue to allow Him to transform us with Kingdom values. The sword of the spirit, which is the word of God is our offensive weapon. When Jesus was tempted in the desert, He overcame the opposition through the word of God. When our feet are shod with the gospel of peace, we take the peace of God wherever we go. God’s people are not called to strife, division, or hatred. Instead, they have been called to be peacemakers and bring God’s peace into the atmosphere.

Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the jews. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” John 18:19-21

Ironically, even though the Jewish leaders did not believe in Jesus, the notice on the cross called him “The King of the Jews.” When the King of Kings was mistreated, spat upon, and crucified, He did not retaliate. On the contrary, Jesus forgave all those who crucified him. That is the ultimate picture of the Kingdom of heaven. The King of Kings came to serve and save people. He was not about fighting and conquering territories by force. Jesus was after people’s hearts. Establishing the Kingdom of God in people’s hearts takes much longer, and it is messier than fighting and conquering people. But God in His mercy and kindness allowed us to choose Him because He wanted to have a real relationship with us.

The Kingdom of God is marvelous and powerful! Jesus has given us much insight into this amazing Kingdom whose ways are opposite of the world, and it defeats the devil by gaining people’s hearts and allowing the meek will inherit the land.

How do you fight the opposition? Do you put on the armor of God? Is the fruit of the spirit evident in your life when you are under pressure? Do you overcome temptations with the word of God?



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