THE KINGDOM WITHIN US
“Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, he answered them, ‘The kingdom of God is not coming with things to be observed (μετὰ παρατηρήσεως, with observation); nor will they say, ‘Lo, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is within you (ἐντὸς ὑμῶν).’” (Lk 17: 20-21)
The “kingdom” Christ is talking about is one in which He is King; in which He is both our primary and ultimate authority. This “kingdom” already “is,” because Christ is already King. However, for this kingdom to “come” to us, and for us to inhabit it, it requires our response to His authority, in “obedience” to (from the Latin “ob-audire,” literally, “listen(ing) to”), and acceptance of, Him as King.
It is “within us” that we nurture this obedience and acceptance of Christ, through our ups and downs. Today there may be “other” voices and authorities that may compete for my heart. Time and again, I may slip into people-pleasing, leading me to an unwise or unhealthy use of my time, or an unwise use of my money; I may also slip into some self-destructive codependency, unwisely offering my affection and obedience where it doesn’t belong, according to God’s purpose for me. “Thy kingdom come,” I say this morning, with all my heart, and open up to my One primary and ultimate Authority, that He may liberate me from unnecessary bondage to any imposters.