Gordon Fee, an American-Canadian Christian theologian and ordained minister of the Assemblies of God said, “You cannot know anything about Jesus, anything, if you miss The Kingdom of God. You are zero on Jesus if you don’t understand this term. I’m sorry to say it that strongly, but this is the great failure of evangelical Christianity. We have had Jesus without The Kingdom of God, and therefore have literally done Jesus in.” (Note: The Kingdom of God and The Kingdom of Heaven are synonymous. Together…they appear over 80 times in the Gospels, plus, showing-up in other parts of the New Testament.)
When you couple how many times The Kingdom appears in the Gospels with this statement from Jesus, “Seek first The Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all things will be added to you.” It’s apparent that seeking The Kingdom is not only important, it’s the first thing that Jesus instructs us to do, which raise a question.
We know so much about so many things. Why, after 2,000 years and the urging of Jesus, do we still not know about The Kingdom of Heaven?
The answer; we don’t want to know. If we knew, we might have to do something about it, such as…change how we think, which is not about happen. Why? Because the chatter-in-our-head, the serpent, doesn’t want us to change. For example, God offered Adam and Eve the opportunity to stay in the Garden of Eden if they would change, revert back to being accountable and transparent…and they said “No!”
What have we learned from that exchange? Nothing! We’re still saying “No” to…being accountable and transparent and Jesus understood why. Our thought process is so sophisticated, it has the ability to create on its own. For example, did you create you in your own mind? Did you sit down with your brain and decide what your hopes; dreams and fears were going be? Of course not, your brain put it all together, without your knowledge or permission, when it concocted the image of who your brain thinks you are.
Now you maybe thinking, “So what if my brain created me in my own mind…what’s the big deal?” Here’s the problem. Our brain also takes pleasure in miss-creating. For example, are you responsible for those nighttime dreams that are chaotic and nonsensical? Was it you that caused people, places and things not to appear in your dreams as they really are? Of course not…your brain created the mess, by taking what is true and twisting it into something of its own making.
When Jesus connected the dots, he became aware that our brain will twist how God sees us, into a distorted image of who our brain thinks we are…whose “chatter” comes between us and God. (Sigmund Freud, the father of modern day psychiatry called this image, of who our brain thinks we are, the ego, which is Latin for I…the self.)
Realizing that our personality had evolved in more than one direction, inspired Jesus to say, “Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” This lesson makes clear, there’s a side of our personality we must lose…in order to find the side that takes us to…The Kingdom.
What follows are answers to questions about The Kingdom and how to reach it.
What is The Kingdom of Heaven? In one word…PEACE, for which there is no substitute. Inner peace is the only state-of-mind that shares common ground with The Father, which I describe as…
An inner calm so complete that nothing is wanting; there are no internal or external conflicts. It’s a nonjudgemental state that’s passionate about creating, open to change and in order.
How did Jesus describe The Kingdom of Heaven? Through parables like this. “Truly I tell you” he says, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter The Kingdom of Heaven.” Children exemplify The Kingdom, because their judgemental ego has not yet developed and have neither fake needs nor property. A child does not know the past or future, nor does he have fears, problems or anxieties. He lives in the present moment and is neither male nor female in behavior. And then there’s the parable of the mustard seed. “The Kingdom of Heaven,” said Jesus, “Is like a mustard seed that a man planted in his field. Although it is the smallest of all seeds, it grows into the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” Peace…is a state-of-mind infinitely smaller than a mustard seed, and yet, can blossom into righteous thinking and deeds that can benefit the world.
When will The Kingdom arrive? That’s up to you!
What does it mean to…live in The Kingdom? Imagine a state-of-mind that’s free of earth-bound-notions, such as judgement and blame, that can twist our spirit into a medium that is confused, self-serving and destructive? I truly believe if Jesus were alive today, he would be shocked and dismayed to see we have chosen to celebrate him, the messenger and not his message, because it’s safer to honor him…than to take responsibility for how we think.
Who will bring The Kingdom of Heaven? You will, when you become aware that your personality has evolved in more than one direction, are living in the present moment, making conscious choices and are connected to what you love to do.
To learn more, log-on to www.abwot.org and check-out my podcast, video and new book: Your Guide to…A Better Way of THINKING…by clicking…show me the way.