10-29-18 I Am a Citizen of Heaven Jn 18:36
We have been talking all year about the different aspects of who we are in Christ, our “I Am” statements. Today, let’s understand that, while we still live here on earth, our primary citizenship is not of this world. We are living between the “already” and the “not yet.” Listen to Jesus:
“Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.’” Jn 18:36 NIV
I will be a citizen of Heaven. The Kingdom Jesus is talking about here is the full manifestation of His Reign. This Kingdom is a realm where Jesus will be the rightful Lord over everyone’s life. This Kingdom is where every being will be in perfect and willful submission to Jesus as our Sovereign King. That means, we will love like He loves, think about all things like He thinks about them, use our emotions to build others up, want His Will over our own and act in ways that reflect His Nature. In this Kingdom, we will not be robots or puppets on strings, but we will be willing children who desire, first and foremost, to love God and love one another. We will each have our own personalities, but will also use our personal talents and treasures for the good of everyone else around us. This Kingdom is a place where self-centeredness, being self-absorbed and acting selfish will simply no longer exist. We will be one with God because Jesus will be the only One we follow, imitate and reflect. That is the Kingdom Jesus is talking about in this verse. I have called this Kingdom Heaven or Paradise or Eternity, but the point is, this Kingdom does not exist in this world. It is for a future time, when Time is no longer and our lives here are finished. His Kingdom is not of this world.
I already am a citizen of Heaven. While Jesus is referring to the End of Time and the full realization of the Heavenly realm where He and He alone is King of our lives, there is more to it than that. Jesus also means that His Kingdom is not like anything in this world. Imagine a place where everyone is always and only looking out for the best interest of everyone else. Can you picture it? A place where you don’t own anything, but everything belongs to everyone equally? A place where poverty, hunger, exploitation, loneliness, and so on, do not exist nor even enter into anyone’s mind? Obviously this is a Kingdom “from another place.” But here’s part of the Good News: in Christ, we can already start to have a taste of this Kingdom here! The moment you receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, He and you become one. Now I am not saying you always act as one! But inside your spirit, you are one. Think about how a baby is formed. These two completely different cells come together and become one. A new being is formed. Someone who never was, now is. This is sort of what happens in our spirits when we receive Salvation from Jesus. We become New Creations in Christ. He brings His Selflessness into us and starts to grow His Fruit within us. In this respect, His Kingdom is within us. Jesus begins to rule over our heart, control our soul and display His Righteousness through us. His Kingdom is not of this world.
I am a citizen of Heaven. The more I remember this is already my reality, the more I will act like it is already my reality. Even though I am still not at the point where I allow Jesus to order everything I think, say and do, I am getting there more and more. I am a work in progress, and so are you, my Friends, if you are allowing Jesus to be your King. That means He has the right to tell us what to think, how to feel, what to want. And as we follow Him, letting Him be our Lord, His Kingdom becomes more and more real to us. We get to experience life with a peace that surpasses understanding, a joy that strengthens us and a sweet righteousness that guides our every step. And all this in union, as one, with the Holy Spirit! (Ro 14:17) A growing, real relationship with God our Creator, Provider and Sustainer? That’s the Kingdom of God and it can be yours right now. Your choice. Let Him be in charge of your life. The more I do, the more abundant my life gets. Won’t you join me?
Until we meet again, keep lifting your eyes to God, He’s closer than you think!
<>< Peace, Diane