by Wade E Taylor
Jesus began His ministry with the words, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” His next words were to two fishermen, while working at their trade. He said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:17-19. The message of the kingdom was applied to the lives of men in relationship to their occupation. These were fishers of fish. But Jesus called them to become fishers of men – still fishing, but with a higher purpose in view. The kingdom message, in its functioning, lifts the earthly aspect of our vocation into a higher purpose.
The word “kingdom” has been misunderstood and misapplied. It has often been relegated to a future heaven or millennium. The message of the kingdom is meant to be a present reality in our lives. The kingdom being “at hand” means it is within our reach in reality and function. It does not imply being in a place of rulership, but rather, the operation of kingdom principles in our lives.
The “kingdom at hand” requires submission to the rule of God in our lives. To seek the kingdom is to make the rule of God the object of our desires. It is recognizing Jesus as King, and placing everything in our lives in subjection to His kingdom rule. It is “at hand” that is, it is in your immediate circumstances, not in some ethereal religious form or future hope, but “at hand,” reachable and touchable. Jesus said, “Follow Me.” If we do not recognize Him as King and allow the operation of the kingdom in our lives, we are not in the place of His calling. If our lives are like they were before salvation, plus the salt of religion, we are falling far short of His purpose in and for us.
Today He is establishing His body in divine order. Our homes and churches are being brought back to scriptural patterns. Things that God winked at in the past are no longer left unchallenged in our lives. Everything that can be shaken is shaking. The Lord will no longer allow His people to remain in the realm of blessing or playing church. He is causing His people to face the claims of His kingdom in their lives. The kingdom is at hand. All else will pass away. Do not draw back, but press on and into the kingdom.