Applying the Kingdom – By Dr. Myles Monroe
Food, drink, clothing, shelter, cars, money, luxuries; these are the things we live for. These are the things that we get out of bed and go to work for every day. These are the things that make up the objects of most of our prayers. And it is the pursuit of these things that drives human culture and the economies of nations. Yet, these are the very things Jesus said we should not live for. In fact, He told us not even to worry about them. He stripped away all of our confusing, energy-draining, deceptive, distracting, misleading and misplaced priorities and left us with one simple focus: seeking the Kingdom of God. In so doing, He also gave us the key to a simpler, more fulfilling life. Pursuing one central priority in life instead of ten or twenty secondary ones—what could be simpler?
Furthermore, Jesus says that when we make the Kingdom of God our one priority, all these other things that we have spent our lives pursuing will turn around and pursue us! They will chase us down! This is a fundamental principle of the Kingdom of God.
This is one of the simplest statements in the Bible, yet one of the least obeyed. We are possessed by our quest for things and for the good life, while God is looking for Kingdom-possessed people. All who seek and gain the Kingdom of God also gain access to all its riches and resources. Why settle for a scrap here and there that we are able to eke out on our own when the fullness of the Kingdom with its abundant provision is available to us?
Kingdom-possessed people do not live just to make a living; they live for the Kingdom. Kingdom-possessed people do not work just to get a paycheck; they work for the Kingdom. Kingdom-possessed people do not strive day in and day out to meet their needs; they strive continually for the Kingdom. As Kingdom citizens and children of God, they know that all these things already belong to them. Kingdom-possessed people understand that their lives are not for the pursuit of selfish gain but for seeking opportunities to introduce others to the Kingdom.
For Kingdom-possessed people, all of life is about the Kingdom of God. To be Kingdom-possessed means to have the Kingdom of God as our sole priority, for the Kingdom priority demands an exclusive claim on our lives. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matt. 6:24).
By our Manufacturer’s design, we are not equipped to serve two masters. One will always take precedence over the other. There is room in our hearts for one and only one top priority, and Jesus said that top priority must be the Kingdom of God. This is why He said we are to seek first God’s Kingdom and righteousness. The Kingdom of God is so vast that our pursuit of it will fill us to capacity so that we have no room for other priorities. It also will satisfy us so completely that we have no need of other priorities. All the priorities that we recognize as essential or beneficial to life will be satisfied when we set our hearts to seek first the Kingdom of God. This is His promise to us. But He requires our exclusive allegiance. He demands from us our whole heart, our undivided loyalty.
As we have already seen, the command to seek first the Kingdom and righteousness of God comes with a corollary promise that “all these things” the world strives for will be given, or added, to us. Think about this: anything you work for was not added. Added means you receive something you did not work for. God blesses most of us with the health and ability to work for the things we need to support ourselves and our families but, as I’ve said before, we should never live for those things. If our priority is focused on the Kingdom and righteousness of God, He will add all the rest to us. He wants to give us many things that we did not and even cannot work for. But the key to this life of favor and blessing is to seek, to pursue, to walk in the righteousness of God.
Righteousness means right positioning with the government. It is when a person takes up citizenship in a country and pledges to obey its laws. Those are simple requirements. When Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness,” He was saying, “Seek to become a citizen of the Kingdom of God and then stay in alignment with the government’s law. If you do those two things—citizenship and obedience to the laws—then everything you need will be added to you.” What could be simpler?
The key to success in a kingdom is for the citizens to maintain right relationship with the government. This is righteousness. At the same time, the government is responsible for the rights and well-being of the citizens. Citizens benefit from their righteous relationship by qualifying to make demands on the government. Righteousness gives you power. If you are keeping the law, then all the rights of the constitution are yours. Citizens have rights. Righteous citizens can demand what is rightfully theirs. That is why it is a legal term.
Our two priorities are to seek Kingdom citizenship and the relationship that puts us in a position to demand things from the Kingdom. And the Kingdom government is responsible and obligated to the citizen. Righteousness gives us rights and rights activate the government to act on our behalf.
The kingdom places us in citizenship; righteousness places in us relationship.
Kingdom gives us rights to government benefits; righteousness gives us access to government benefits.
Kingdom makes us legal; righteousness maintains our legal status.
Righteousness is manifested in holiness.
Holiness is not a doctrine; it is a result. Jesus never taught on holiness. He taught on the Kingdom and righteousness. Living holy simply means you are obeying all the Kingdom laws. If you are righteous, you don’t have to “do” holiness; it is a by-product of right standing. Holiness is a manifestation of righteousness. Food, clothing, and rituals don’t make you holy. Holiness is based on relationship, and relationship comes from righteousness.
Excerpt From: Dr. Munroe, Myles. “Applying the Kingdom.”