Years ago, just before my 18th birthday, I turned every part of my life over as completely as I knew how to the Lord Jesus. I answered His call to proclaim His truth, and He filled me to overflowing with His Spirit and supernaturally gifted me to communicate. I was carried by boldness and compassion beyond anything a shy, fatherless boy could have experienced apart from God. Without understanding fully what had happened, a teenager who had given his life to Christ at age 15 suddenly allowed King Jesus to take over. It is no exaggeration to say that in my mind and with all that I understood of a full surrender to the will of God, I had accepted His Kingdom in me as the now and new way to live. I had begun a life journey that has continued for 50 years. I really had lost my life in order to find it in His Kingdom purpose.
I have discovered, however, that on this journey there are many distractions and much deception and far too frequent moments of defeat. The subtle enemy continually assaults every one of us called to fulfill God’s kingdom purpose on this earth.
In recent years, I have recognized that the prayers of Jesus seemed to be unanswered, even in this day. The fact that believers are not truly one with the Father as Jesus desired for us, and we are not being perfected in love and spiritual unity, seems to be a clear indicator that our Savior’s prayers are unanswered. He actually taught His disciples, which includes us, to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
In the past two years, He has made it very clear to me that He did not pray amiss. It is not only important that God’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven, but it is a command. This means it is more than possible, it is imperative!
As I have shared previously, I have been calling leaders together asking them to join me seeking to help bring about the answer to the prayers of Jesus. When I met in September with 40 major ministry leaders, I shared with them that I was convinced that we don’t know Him as well as we should because too often we refuse to know them – other ministers and believers. By cutting one another off, we have actually cut Him off. Unknowingly, we have contributed to dividing the Kingdom and diminishing its effect on earth.
Isaiah said that God’s own messengers are often blind. The Old Testament prophets, as well as Jesus, taught that we are dull of hearing. We hear, but we don’t hear clearly. We see, but we see through a glass darkly. Our vision is dim at best. God desires to open our ears and clear our vision if we will let Him.
In my pursuit of God and His will being accomplished in us now on this earth for His glory, I recently crossed paths ever so briefly with a minister friend who had impacted me greatly almost 30 years ago. I don’t think I had seen him for 15 years. Jim Hylton passed me at a friend’s house as I was leaving and he was coming in. Jim said, “James, everyone is praying for revival. That’s like asking God for a bailout. What we need is to recognize and receive the fullness and power of His Kingdom now.”
It was like a bolt of lightning from heaven when he said that! I knew I had heard very directly from God. In a conversational sense the Lord said to me, “You’ve been repeating the importance of ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ and emphasizing the possibility and the necessity, but you have overlooked the first phrase preceding that statement – ‘Thy Kingdom come.’ The only way My will can be done on earth is by My Kingdom (which both John the Baptist and Jesus announced is at hand) being established within each believer. King Jesus must begin to reign and rule in every area of each believer’s life. The Kingdom must be fully received and freely released. This Kingdom, when recognized and expressed, cannot be ignored.”
Pastor Jim Hylton recognized that I had been impacted by what he said. He asked, “May I give you a book that I have written that was just recently released?” I said, “Certainly.” We went to his car and he handed me a book entitled The Supernatural Skyline: Where Heaven Touches Earth. I thanked him and over the coming days God specifically directed me to begin reading it.
It was as though my eyes and ears were opened to see and hear more clearly than perhaps I ever had. I recognized that Jim was right in what he shared throughout the book. Most believers and ministers are engaged in church and ministry building rather than Kingdom building! We get people to Christ in church, but never make them fully aware that they are now in Christ, Christ is in them to establish His Kingdom now. And it is within us to be released through us affecting everything and everyone around us! It is the light on the lamp stand illuminating the way, exposing darkness and evil, while providing the light necessary to walk the straight and narrow path with our eyes fixed on the one standard – Jesus! This Kingdom light must not and cannot be hidden when it’s recognized, received and freely released.
Jack Taylor is a friend who wrote the forward to the book and he said, “The Kingdom of God is everything, not a part of something else. It fits nothing, but everything of value fits into it.” The Kingdom way is God’s way for you! It is His answer to all that the kingdom of darkness hurls at believers, and which tragically blinds the eyes of unbelievers.
The Kingdom is each one of us allowing Jesus to be Lord of all, the reigning King. We are not perfect! He is perfect and will perfect us as He is allowed to reign and rule in us! Remember, we are joint heirs with Him, but not joint kings. There is but one Lord! When His Kingdom is established in us and He lives His resurrected life through us, His will shall be done on earth. Everything will be affected. God’s truth will replace the traditions of men and the leaven of the Pharisees. We will cease our wineskin wars and throwing (as did Saul) spears and accusations at the spiritual Davids who are seeking to please the real King. We will become a family, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, more than conquerors and overcomers in this life, ruling and reigning over the realm of darkness while freely sharing His love and His life.
We will inspire correction, repentance, and restoration on all fronts – in our own homes, local communities, and our nations. This will not be accomplished by organizing a power base, but by releasing the power of His Kingdom that affects all bases of power on planet Earth. We will help change the direction of our nations by embracing truth and unshakable principles, not by endorsing candidates or parties. If believers will yield to Kingdom power, no one will be elected if they don’t recognize eternal truth and the foundation necessary for life, liberty and the real pursuit of happiness.
His Kingdom in us enables us to become a city set on a hill. This will be the influence leading to spiritual awakening and the revelation of Creator God and our loving Father. Truly, His Kingdom is at hand and it is not of this world. When established in us, it will impact and even change the lives of those held captive by the spirit of this present world.
The following truths really jumped out at me in Jim Hylton’s book because this is what I had observed God doing in my life. But because I had dim vision and I was dull of hearing, I didn’t really recognize what was actually taking place and is important for all believers to understand:
In Christ every Christian is a king and a priest unto God… Just as Jesus was a priest who ministered with compassion and in humility, we are to humbly become debtors to all in need of His grace.
In order to build the Kingdom, we need to become Kingdom bearers, bearing in our hearts the Kingdom of God. Our role as members of God’s royal family is one in which His Kingdom is expressed through our lives. We are the material He uses to build the Kingdom…
There are some basic realities that must be remembered:
1) There is only room for one king to reign at a time. Our crowns must be placed at His feet daily. Though we reign as join heirs, we never rule as joint Lord. He is Lord of lords.
2) There are no quick cures to guarantee success in the Kingdom of King Jesus. Instead, a childlike heart and a lifetime of growing in grace await us.
3) Those who win in the Kingdom are willing to lose. They will lose all and count it as waste to gain the excellence of the knowledge of God. No defense is needed because the willingness to lose is the means by which they win.
4) Those who rule in this Kingdom are those who serve the most. Towels for washing feet as a servant are standard equipment.
5) The strength of these leaders may be best judged by how much they cry. They cry as Jesus did over cities that need to come to safe shelter. They cry as Jesus did…for others and with others.
6) The weapons that are mighty through God are gifts on deposit from God. These gifts are standard issue for destroying the works of the devil. Gifts lift up Jesus so that others may see the incomparable one we are seeing.
Without Kingdom expansion in our hearts, we cannot have Kingdom expression from our lives.
This great and necessary awakening begins when each one of us yields fully to Him crying out openly and unashamedly, “Come, King Jesus! Rule and reign in me now! ‘Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!’”