Choosing the Right Kingdom

"The kingdom of God is at hand."—Mark 1:15 Sometimes prodigal children have to live in the wretchedness of a far country before they can recognize the blessings, comfort, and love of home.

It took the nation of Israel over seven years of bloody, civil war to surrender to the rightful king.

Peace required a change of masters.

David’s hard fought war to unite the kingdom finally ended. David won the hearts of his people by being just and generous toward friends and enemies alike.

Wars fought over kingdoms also deeply affect individual lives.

We live in that war every day.

A war between two natures, a war between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light; a hard fought battle wages over our souls and eternal destinies. We can’t afford to compromise. When we do, we end up like Israel: divided, confused, and hurting.

How do we heal a compromised life? The steps are laid out in 2 Samuel 5:1- 2.

First, the people came to David and said, “Indeed, we are your bone and your flesh.” They surrendered because they finally recognized their true family. We are related by blood, they said. We belong together.

The people humbled themselves before David, appealing to him for mercy on the basis of their kinship.

Likewise, God asks us to recognize our true family. We no longer belong to the world. We are born into God’s family. We are related by the blood of Christ, united in His Spirit.

“He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him,” Paul wrote (1 Corinthians 6:17).

We are one with Jesus—and each other!

Recognizing and embracing our true identities as God’s beloved sons and daughters, living in His kingdom, is the first step toward healing.

Secondly, the people admitted their failures.

“Also, in times past, when Saul was king over us...” They confessed, we followed the wrong master, we went the wrong way. And they turned.

The Lord promised us, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Finally, the people acknowledged to David, “You were the one who led Israel … and the Lord said to you, ‘You shall shepherd my people and be ruler over Israel.’”

Now they understood. Even while they were submitted to the house of Saul, by the grace of God, they did not lose their kingdom.

We can turn, yes, fervently run from the wrong kingdom into the Father’s Kingdom where we will find peace, healing, and His love.