All There Is To It

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the Kingdom and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:13)

Kingdom, power, glory

Think about the order in which Jesus speaks those closing words. Kingdom first. He says later on in the chapter “seek ye first the Kingdom of God” (verse 33). Indicating that there’s either another kingdom vying for first in the world or that anything resembling order and establishment was obliterated long ago for whatever reason. It’s some of both, I’d wager. But what does it mean when we talk about God’s “kingdom”?

“Neither shall they say Lo here! or lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21, emphasis mine)

Within. The things of the interior. Focus on that. Think about what it takes to make your insides flow properly. And I’m not talking about drinking eight (or, however many you need) glasses of water to aid in digestion and other physically-centric systems. I’m talking about joy. Peace. A sense of hope and purpose about who you are and where you’re going. Love. These are the things of “the kingdom”. “Things that accompany salvation” as the writer of Hebrews (6:9) put it.

“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:” (1 Corinthians 2:4)

And this is how the internal things of the Holy Spirit are exhibited. Call it power. Or confidence. Or any of several garden-variety nouns that would approach the nigh-indefinable quality of the Power of God. After living a while, feeling like one is alone, you get a good understanding (hopefully) that any power we think we would bring to the table is nothing. Paul says “we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7) We have nothing but ourselves to bring to God. This is what Jesus is getting at when He says “For thine is the…power”. Because maintaining God’s kingdom necessarily requires God’s power. Okay. Glory.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

God’s glory–the attention and worship and praise He’s due for what He’s done–is what Jesus came to display. But as a human, much like any of us, you may not have thought He was who He was on the inside. This is because any glory He was due (and rightfully so) was deflected back to His Father.

I once dreamed that I was present as Jesus spoke for the first time, The Lord’s Prayer for posterity. Only, rather than reciting it on the mountaintop, it took place in a moonlit cell. I suppose if one could say it and pray it there, you can pray it anywhere.

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