At the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer, we are led to focus on God and who He is: hollowed, sovereign, omniscient, omnipresent, a Father to us all. These aspects of God should be at the forefront of our minds always, and especially when we pray. Now we can move on to our first request to God: that His kingdom may be among us. This is not only hoping for the Second Coming but also a reminder and a plea that His kingdom may dwell among and in us in the present and in this world. First, however, we must ask: what is the kingdom of God? Thankfully, Christ gave us His Word so that we might know it.
In one parable, the kingdom of God is described as a farmer who sowed seed with some seed eaten by birds, some dying after quickly spouting, some that thorns killed, and others grew and multiplied in good soil (Mar. 4:3-8). Later, Jesus tells His disciples that the seed is the Word and this Word produces a crop “thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times what was sown.” (Mar. 4:13-20). This is like the second parable of man who scatters seed. He is the man who sows the Word of God and through the Holy Spirit, a crop is produced, though he knows not how (Mar. 4:26-29). For the Apostle Paul reminds us that it is not us who causes the kingdom to grow, but God and God working through us as a means to further His kingdom.
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who water have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s Fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
~ 1 Corinthians. 3:7-9 ~
Thus, the kingdom of God is the Word being spread to all people and God causing that seed to grow. Indeed, the kingdom of God is within us, as Jesus said,
“The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is.’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” ~ Luke 17:20-21 ~
But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: ~ Romans 10:8 ~
The Scriptures also teach us that the kingdom of God is a matter of the spirit and of power (Mat. 12:28, Rom. 14:17, 1 Cor. 4:20). This is not some earthly kingdom or matter as some had expected but a spiritual kingdom revealed by His Word and the Holy Spirit (Mat. 19:24, Mar. 4:11, Luk. 4:43). Additionally, those who serve in the kingdom of God must not “look back” or return to the kingdom of the world (Luk. 9:62). And indeed, the kingdom of God was offered to all men, but only a few accepted the invitation to the feast in His kingdom (Luk. 15:24).
But while this kingdom is both dwelling in us now and will be enjoyed in the resurrection with Christ, we must also remember to live as a part of that kingdom. This is in part why we ask for His kingdom to be among us now, for we need His grace and a strengthening of our faith in order to live in harmony with His Word and kingdom.
For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person – such a man is an idolater – has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
~ Ephesians 5:5-6 ~
And we should strive to be separate in this world, both for the kingdom to come and for the kingdom that dwells here among us. Just as we and our bodies are a temple belonging to God, so should we remember that our lives and our calling is of, for, and by God as well.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
~ 1 Peter 2:9-10 ~
We are urged again to be separate both in calling and in the way we live our lives, not only because that is what we are called to do, but also so that others may glorify God because of it.
Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
~ 1 Peter 2:11-12 ~
All this is evidence that God’s judgement is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.
~ 2 Thessalonians 1:5 ~
Thus, when we ask for our Father’s kingdom to come, we ask for His Word to dwell in us, for us to share His kingdom by spreading His Word, like seed, throughout the world, a means by which the kingdom and His church can grow, and for aid in our daily life as we walk in this world by His grace and faith, trusting in Him and His Word. We ask for His kingdom to come with Him again, and we know that they will (Rev. 22:20). But until that day, we ask that it may dwell in and among us so that we may be ready, may spread His Word, and live as those called by Christ.
Blessings to you,