Our ministry is called Royal Mission. When you meet us or hear our sermons, there is always something royal radiant. If you read our books, follow us via the livestream or participate in our education, the message of the Kingdom of God almost always resonates through it. For some people a completely new world opens up and others continue to find that kingdom somewhat vague. Both extremes are understandable.
The Kingdom of God is here, but it is not yet here. That’s quite confusing. A heavenly mystery. The New Testament teaches us that there is both a ‘Kingdom-now’ and a ‘Kingdom-not-yet’. God’s reign is near and at hand, but at the same time it is not yet fulfilled and is yet to come. We see breakthroughs of heavenly reality on earth and evil rages unabated in the world. Disease and death still seem to prevail. In theological terms we call this apparent contradiction: the Kingdom has been inaugurated, but not yet realized. God’s government has been installed and inaugurated since the cross, but its full fulfillment and realization are yet to come.
It is important to place the stories Jesus tells and the assignments He gives us in this context of time. The principles already work, but at the same time the full implementation will only come later. We may already ‘experience the power of the world to come’ (Hebrews 6:5) and yet we do not always experience it. We are seeing huge breakthroughs and we are suffering huge losses. That’s royal thinking! The Pharisees did not understand this paradox and asked Jesus when the Kingdom of God would come. Jesus answered:‘The Kingdom of God does not come in an observable way. And they shall not say, Lo here, or lo there; for, lo, the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:20-21 ESV). It mainly happens inside us. In our heart! While there is still so much brokenness and strife, a royal revolution can take place in our hearts. Your thinking can become heavenly now and your attitude can bring light to a dark world during this time.
Actually, we are pregnant. That sounds quite strange, especially for men. Yet this thought is correct. We expect the King to come. When Jesus returns, everything and everyone will bow before Him. Then we will see and experience the full impact of heaven on earth. We live from that expectation and that expectation determines our behavior. It’s just like the weather forecast. When we hear in the evening that it will be sunny and warm the next day, our thinking is influenced and we make choices in accordance with the resulting expectations. Put on shorts and plan a nice barbecue. As a child you experience something similar at a birthday. You know you’re going to get presents the next day and you can barely sleep because of that tension. The prospect of the presents determines your thoughts and behavior.
It is even clearer during pregnancy. You don’t see anything for the first few weeks, but you know that a child will be born in a few months. From the moment you hear that you are pregnant, your entire vision of the future changes. Suddenly you have to decorate a room, start working on names and buy baby supplies. Your new behavior reveals that you are expecting. We are expecting the King who is coming. Our thoughts and behavior are determined by that arrival and reveal who we are: King’s children. In everything we prepare ourselves for the world to come. We long to live heavenly now, while the full breakthrough of heaven on earth is yet to come. “But those who wait on the LORD will renew their strength; they will soar on their wings like eagles; they will run quickly and not be weary; they will run and not be weary” (Isaiah 40:31). We do not give up but continue to expect the Lord and King of our lives. Now and later!
The Hebrew word for expect is qavah and carries with it the meaning of interweaving. Our expectations cause us to interweave the present with the future. Kingdom people continually see and anticipate the glory to come. We continuously anticipate a new world. Because“Only when the good news of the Kingdom is proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations will the end come” (Matthew 24:14). We live out and proclaim what is to come, until Jesus returns. We look forward with great anticipation to the realization of God’s Kingdom on earth. God always gives new strength to those who expect it!
Exciting and mystical
In my childhood I regularly attended my father’s speaking engagements. We lived in Belgium at the time. Because my father often spoke in the Netherlands, several appointments were combined on one Sunday. Sometimes even three or four speaking engagements in one day. As a child I visited all kinds of places and very different churches. I remember that the meeting sometimes ended with the words: ‘Maranatha, hallelujah, Jesus is coming soon.’ As a child I thought that was special because all churchgoers responded in unison with a loud ‘Amen!’ As if something exciting was about to happen. There was almost something mystical about it.
We’re not there yet. The Kingdom is far from complete yet. The King, our Lord, has yet to come and bring everything under his authority. But until that day, we will represent Him with honor and full dedication. In Jesus’ name we will trample enemies and place them under his feet. ‘And then the end comes, and He (Jesus) hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after He has destroyed all dominion and every authority and power. For He must reign until God has put all enemies under His feet” (1 Corinthians 15:24-25). There is still so much to happen. Every rebellious power is ultimately destroyed. Every enemy is trampled underfoot and then it comesmoment supreme . Jesus hands over the kingdom to his Father.Mission accomplished ! What a moment that will be.
This blog was written in response to: my new book ‘Growing in royal thinking’ which will be released at the end of June. You can ALREADY ORDER this new book HERE.