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Not of This World

Journal Entry // May 7, 2022

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

John 18:36 ESV

“My kingdom is not of this world.” This is the truth that should be shaping my understanding of this present world and my place in it. The kingdom of God is not of this world. To be sure, the Lord is bringing his kingdom into this world but his kingdom is not of this world. Then why do I continually try to build my own kingdom in this world? Why do I set my every thought and emotion upon the things of this world without even a moment of pondering the vastness of God’s kingdom above. This world seduces me into the continual lie that everything I see has been and always will be. The lie that there is nothing else. The lie that I should enjoy the offerings of the world, because when I die there is nothing else. And I continually believe this lie. I too easily forget that the Kingdom of God is not of this world.

This is one of the key elements of why I lose joy in the Lord. My hope is based on the promise of Jesus to bring me to the home he is preparing for me in heaven, but I never really sit and contemplate that truth. I have everything I need in Christ at this exact moment for life in this world. He has given me this exact home, car, job, friends, influence, and talents. Yet I want more and more. I covet these things in others and my heart yearns for former glories. I want to continually increase my standards because this is how the world and the people around me measure success in the world. It is so simple a thing to float along with the current of culture and let it gently lull me to sleep as it drifts me into darkness.

Jesus calls me to something greater. He wants me to embrace my weakness and live a life of humility. He wants me to live a life so aligned with his will that come what may, I will only praise the Lord at all times. Whether I have plenty or little, whether I am healthy or sick, or whether I am influential or of no renown. Faithfulness to the Lord Jesus is my goal. My hope is not in this world or the measure of success they try to impose on me. No, my measure of success is that same one that God asked of Jonah, “Do you do well to be angry?” God wants me to engage my heart in all my actions and decisions. He wants me to be continually asking myself, “Do you do well…”

My heart fully engaged with Christ is the only answer to dispel this illusion that the world tries to cast around me. How do I engage with Christ? How do I abide with Christ? Obedience and faithfulness. I need to be absorbed in his word and in prayer. I need to be hyperfocused on bringing Christ into every thought and decision. I need to fully understand the hope that is set before me. I need to remind myself continually that Jesus has gone away to prepare a place for me. A place that cannot be taken away. A place of peace and comfort and rest in Christ alone. This is hope. This is where the kingdom of God is building. This is where I want to be in the future, but more so now. I want to begin living this good life here on earth. Fully engaged and abiding with Christ my King.

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