The Kingdom of God is Within
God’s Signature Work is in Our Heart
I often say to those I coach that God’s signature work is in our heart. Jesus said it is out of the heart where actions and behavior flow. Transform the heart and the way we show up in the world as to our reactions, actions, and general behavior changes as a result. It is the inner world of our lives where God’s Kingdom is to find its first and primary expression. The result of hearts being renovated by God is an interior world where righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit reside as a natural state of existence – and this state can exist in spite of exterior conditions or circumstances. For our interior world to be naturally characterized by a condition of peace, rest, joy, and righteousness is to experience the Kingdom of God within. When God’s Kingdom invades and transforms our hearts, the exterior environments which we occupy can’t help to be impacted. God’s Kingdom and God’s will on earth happens one transformed heart at a time.
My Desire For Others Is For Them to Flourish in Life
My desire for those I invest in as a coach and trainer is that they may flourish in life. What I mean here is that they would come to experience an inner condition of soul where righteousness, peace and joy exist as a natural state. It is nice when outward circumstances are going well, when we are experiencing financial, relational, and physical blessing in our lives – when we are realizing dreams and callings fulfilled – when we are being satisfied by having needs and desires met by others and life’s circumstances. To flourish can certainly include all those external blessings. But having things going well and great for us in every area of our life is not the primary expression of the Kingdom. The primary expression of the Kingdom is in our heart. It is where we can honestly and unequivocally say it is well with my soul.
Flourishing is a Process
Getting to the place of where we are flourishing within is a process. The apostle Paul said he had learned to be content in whatever circumstances he found himself. This contentedness was an inner condition of his heart unaffected by his circumstances. But he had learned it. He did not come already predisposed to be at peace under every circumstance. Over the course of his own journey with Jesus he had come to be formed inwardly in such a way that the natural state of his inner world was that of contentedness regardless of what was going on in his external world. The reality is that there will be times when the external conditions of our life simply are not good but rather troubling, uncomfortable or perhaps even horrific. Jesus never promised a problem free, suffering free existence in this age. He actually said that in this world we would have trouble. But he also told us to take heart (be of good courage) because he had overcome the world.
It is All About Our Relationship With God
How do we arrive at that place where we are flourishing at the core of our being? It is in and through our relationship with God. Outward circumstances, things and others can satisfy us for a while, but alone, the satisfaction they provide is short lived and unsustainable. Isaiah put it this way, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters: and you who have no money, come buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me that your soul may live.” (Isaiah 55:1-3a NIV – my emphasis). Jesus put it this way, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” (Matt. 11:28-30 NIV – my emphasis)
What is the natural state of your interior world?
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