In Math 6:9,10 Jesus taught us to pray “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come….” True salvation should give us a longing to be delivered from self-centredness, so that God now becomes the centre of our lives and the centre of our petitions in prayer. We who were wrong side up at one time, have been straightened up by the Lord, so that we long to put God first in every area of our lives now. One of the clearest evidences of true spirituality is that a man detests his self-centredness and longs to be totally centred in God. The man who comes to God wanting to be centred in Him says, “Our Father, who art in heaven. The greatest longing in my heart is that Your Name will be glorified and reverenced throughout the earth.” Then he realizes that God’s Name is not being reverenced on earth and so he goes on to the next petition and says, “Father, I am longing for You to come and establish Your kingdom on earth so that all the earth will fear and reverence Your Name.” That’s a prayer that all men and women of God have been praying for over 1900 years. The time has now drawn near for it to be answered. Only one who is disgusted with the evil in this world can pray this prayer. Peter says, “We are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13). Look at the violence and immorality that there is in the world today. As we read the newspapers, one of the main prayers that should ascend from our hearts is, “Father, I long for Your kingdom to come. I am not asking this for my personal comfort. I long that your reign of righteousness will come soon, so that Your Name will be glorified on this earth which was created for Your glory.”
Jesus said that the last days would be like the days of Noah. Noah was one righteous man in the midst of a corrupt and evil world. He was a preacher of righteousness and he must have been disgusted with what he saw around him. (2 Pet. 2:5). He longed for righteousness from the depth of his heart, and he preached it without compromise. And his prayer must have been a similar one, “Thy kingdom come.” All believers will acknowledge that Christ is coming back soon to establish His kingdom on earth. But what is the evidence that we really believe this? It says in 1 John 3:3, “And every one who has this hope fixed in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” The proof that we really believe in Christ’s return is that we get ready, preparing ourselves as a bride for her bridegroom. This will mean a clean life, it will mean paying our debts, it will mean settling our quarrels – right now, because we are purifying ourselves as He is pure. Only such a man can pray this prayer, “Thy kingdom come.” To repeat this prayer without purifying ourselves to be ready for Christ’s return, is to reduce this prayer to a ritual.
The kingdom of God means the government of God, the absolute rulership of God. It means making Jesus Christ absolute Lord over every area of our life. If we want the kingdom of God to come, it must first come in our hearts, in our homes, and in our churches. In these places we must give no place to Satan or to the flesh. Our longing should be that the kingdom of God should so fill our hearts, our homes and our churches that there will be no room there for anything else. The Holy Spirit came to bring “the kingdom of God with power” to earth (Mark. 9:1). Our local churches should be a demonstration to the world today of what the kingdom of God is like – that which will one day cover the whole earth. Here is where we have failed the Lord. When Jesus told us to seek God’s kingdom first and not to be anxious about earthly things, what He meant was that if we really wanted to be anxious about something, we should be anxious that the kingdom of God should come on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:33). How many of us are burdened with that type of anxiety – for the purity of the church and the coming of God’s kingdom?
May God find many among us who will seek His kingdom first.