by Pam Clark
Oh there are so many articles and words about Kingdom advance and people declare it, often without really knowing what it is! One quick definition is that the Kingdom of God is where Jesus is the King!
So what does that mean, especially to a western mindset? How does a Kingdom advance that is not already established? Obviously it must be established before it can move forward. A rootless kingdom is a tumbleweed, subject to rapid burning!
That's what Moses saw, you know, out there in the desert - a bush that burned but was not consumed. He had to go check it out! And then a Voice came! And it had some life changing heavy duty news! Moses had a new job!
He probably felt like a tumbleweed himself - having a zeal for Godliness but without full knowledge - so it got him in trouble in Egypt when he killed a man trying to protect one of his members. He ran for his life when it was exposed and he was now on the back side of the desert. It was a place he had to get used to...
No doubt remorseful that he missed God in all that, it was a place that many Christians come to. In the beginning, we vote for God. "Yea!!! Go God!!! You rock! You rule!!!"
But then it doesn't go according to plan - our plan that is. I mean we figured if God chose us, then we had to know something, right? But now our opinion does not even seem to matter! What's with this?
We voted for Him but now we don't like the way He is doing things! And He can't be impeached! In fact we know more about Him now than we ever did, and it seems a little foolish. We need that oily place to become a little more flexible!
Anyway, Moses was called to advance the Kingdom. He totally felt unqualified but he did have a listening ear. He passed the first obedience test; he took off his shoes. That meant God was leading now.
Now he had to share it with others and that meant another whole revelation. He had to confess, he had to share, he had to submit to others, and he had to obey God. Now it's getting difficult! But still, that was the easy part!
Things were coming into alignment. He didn't travel at all until some things were put in proper order. But God gave him a witness - his own brother from out of town came to encourage him in it - that was a sign to him that this was indeed God, from a witness outside of his personal zone.
Funny though, when word starts to travel, it seems there is a whole new box of snakes to contend with! His people wanted to make him the hero or king and follow him, but Moses wanted them to follow God! It's why he asked what His Name was! They all wanted the pressures off of them and there were some pressures in those days - just like today.
Things were getting a little more stressful. Thank God for the good days. But discipline is always the hardest thing. And some just don't get it! Some days we don't get it! But you know something bigger than you is going on, so you keep your spiritual antennas up.
Kingdom Advance! Now what is that? Jesus said the Kingdom of God is within you! So that means we are learning how to subdue ourselves and then we are teaching others to do the same.
It's not by outward and visible signs. Eventually it manifests outwardly, but it can leave the same way it came - without showing so much on the outside first. It can carry the appearance for a while before it fades.
Jesus said, "Look at the fruit!" Be a fruit inspector. But you have to know the Fruit to discern the fruit. You can rally anyone for a project - and there are some good projects. The bandwagon is rolling down the road! The Cause is worthy. Climb on board! But is the Kingdom advancing?
Probably so, in some ways. All acts of true good manifests (or exposes) the Kingdom. But is it a sprinkle of water, or a soaking rain? Is the soil prepared? Are the vinedressers in place?
Eventually we are going to get so good at this that the plowman overtakes the reaper! That's a fast cycle. What causes that? Well, first of all it takes an occupied territory. Not just a walked on, not just a squatted on, but a lived on territory, where we know the land.
Not only have the weeds been removed and the stumbling rocks pulled out of the way, but skills have been developed to keep them out. Things out of place are put in place. Channels are dug and then when the rains come, they go to the right places! Strongholds of provisions are put into place.
But what happens when the land becomes corrupt? Apathy sets in. People become indifferent, and not liking to be confronted on it, they become calloused. There is still enough fruit for them to live off of for a while, but the crops are not tended as before.
And then when that happens, the skills are not imparted, and so discernment also goes - because quick becomes better when there are pressing matters. It's all about the "bottom line," but every man is for himself, and God is not considered.
So what can be done? We must get the attention of the lazy and the hungry. Some really know deep inside that there has to be a better way. The party line may be one thing, and respect for authority can be preached, but if there is no respect for self, then you sure won't find people respecting others - and then the debauchery sets in. Remember Sodom and Gomorrah?
So how does the Kingdom advance? Yes, you can find the momentum if you seek for that, but you also need to find your place of labor and joyful submission. I may not like to cook too much, but I do like to eat good foods! And even the health industry today is screaming to show us where we've compromised and missed it. My job may be writing more than cooking, but some knowledge helps!
Kingdom advance begins with self respect. It begins with finding a genuine and pure love for self - and that starts with RECEIVING the Lord. As I mentioned, if you can hear Him, then you can do a few things to show that you want to obey, but there is a personal order and discipline that must take place.
It says in Amos that some people are famished in seeking the word of the Lord. They have gone down many roads that got them nowhere. But even that is working in a compassion and a wisdom.
Once you find your feeding places - and they are there and they are not the idol worship of people - but once you learn how to pray and read and test things and develop your skills of walking in the Spirit, and even running some, then you will find that place where you can settle into your own land and work it.
You will learn how to occupy that territory and gain some more - producing crops, working with others, discerning and knowing which Kingdom you are of. THEN you are able to advance as you impart to others and show them how to be disciples - the ones who learn the way of the Master.
I think the Kingdom of God is where the manifest Presence of God rules and dwells and permeates. It's an awesome life giving, life sustaining, life fulfilling place.