Never before have I realized that I relate to the people in Jesus' lifetime on earth who wanted the Roman government overturned. Too often, I am frustrated with politics, laws, politicians and think, "Jesus judge them. Show them who's really in charge." But in Jesus' earthly ministry he never claimed to bring his kingdom on our sinful earth but to their hearts. It isn't different now. Jesus simply wants me to have his kingdom rule in my heart.
I think of the present day Christian martyr, Saeed. In chains for the gospel message, he is being persecuted in Iran for preaching the gospel. Yet his correspondence radiates joy and peace amidst the struggle. Truly this is a picture of the kingdom of God reigning in his heart.
Jesus taught in the Beatitudes
Blessed are the poor in spiritThese are those who've given everything they hold dear to God, holding nothing back. The poor in spirit entrust their most prized possessions to God. A.W. Tozer says, "They have broken the yoke of oppression not by fighting but by surrendering," (The Pursuit of God, p. 23). Abraham is a dynamite example of ripping from his heart his most treasured possession, Isaac, as he laid Isaac on the alter.
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3)
My responsibility is not overthrowing the king of this world but to let the kingdom remain in my heart. But how? I can think of no better place to begin than to remain, to abide. How do I have compassion on those who are children of the king of this world? How do I love them like Jesus does? I don't have strength on my own to do this. I will abide. There is no other way.