#4 Problems with Living for your Kingdom (and Why God’s Kingdom Works)

Earlier in the month, I reflected on what the Kingdom of God is, as well as the “kingdom of self”. If  anything you’re about to read feels confusing, I recommend you refer to those two posts.

Over the course of the days, I thought a lot about these two opposing ways of life. The “kingdom of self” has some significant flaws. There are at least 4 major problems with it.

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There’s the disjointed, dysfunctional “kingdom” of self, and then there’s the complete, flawless Kingdom of God.

Problem #1. It’s a delusion

Confession: I often believe that I have significant power to influence circumstances and people. Maybe you tend to believe that, too. But we don’t have all that much power. Neither are we as important as some of us believe. The “kingdom of self” – the way of life dedicated to “self” – is about our power and our importance. When you and I live for our respective kingdoms, we fool ourselves into thinking that we have more of it than we do. Consider the verse:

And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black.

-Matthew 5:36

The kingdom of self is a delusion.

(So then how much influence and control do we have, realistically? You’re welcome to comment with your thoughts.)

Meanwhile, in God’s Kingdom…

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

-Matthew 10:29-30

While you and I can’t change the color of a single hair on our heads, God numbers all of them. He is the all-powerful, all-important God, worthy of the title “King”.

His domain is not a delusion. His Kingdom is real.

Problem #2. It will be taken away

A lifetime has been given to you and to me. For our life on earth, we can choose to cling to the delusion that our agendas are more important than anyone else’s. For a lifetime, we can regard our own happiness as the end goal. But when that time is up, eternity will only be beginning. If we choose to live for ourselves in this lifetime, even the little that we do have – the delusion of a kingdom – will be taken from us.

Meanwhile, in God’s Kingdom…

But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations.

Psalm 102:12

There’s no end to God’s Kingdom. If you and I commit to Him, we’ll be committing ourselves to something lasting. Everlasting. He will not be defeated.

God’s Kingdom will not be taken away.

Problem #3. People destroy each other

My “kingdom of self” is different from yours. Yours is different from the next person’s. In a world with towns, families and online communities, we constantly interact with people of various desires and goals. Often, we can only get what we want at the expense of others.

If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

-Galatians 5:18

People living for their own respective kingdoms walk all over each other in an effort to achieve their goals. It’s a mess. (What’s an example of people destroying each other on account of conflicts of interest – whether national or small-scale. Share with us in the comments section, but please avoid hateful speech)

Meanwhile, in God’s Kingdom…

Speaking about God’s Kingdom and the people belonging to it, the Bible says:

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

-Ephesians 4:4-6

If you and I unite under God’s Kingdom we’ll be sharing the most important thing in common. Believers around the world can lay aside secondary differences and work together. There’s unity. Cohesion.

God’s Kingdom, as opposed to the kingdom of self, causes individuals to lay aside their differences and unite.

Problem #4. It’s not God’s best

I hesitate to include this as problem #4. Perhaps it ought to be considered an umbrella under which the above-listed flaws fit rather than another problem on par with them.

In any case, notice how cheap and disjointed the so-called “kingdom” of self is. It’s so flawed and it falls apart on so many different levels. Perhaps problem #5 is that you arrive at what you thought you wanted and find it’s not enough to fulfill the void.

Meanwhile, in God’s Kingdom…

In stunning contrast, God’s design is complete. His Kingdom is perfect. It’s flawless. It’s quality. All is taken into account. Everything about it is good.

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What’s your #5?

Let’s interact

  • If living for the “kingdom of self” is such a dysfunctional way of life, why do so many people live it?
  • Do you disagree? Do you have arguments in favor of the “kingdom of self”?
  • What are some practical ways by which you can start living less for your own kingdom and more for God’s?
  • The above list isn’t exhaustive. What #5 or #6 would you add?

Resources for deeper digging

Psst! For more on:

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2 thoughts on “#4 Problems with Living for your Kingdom (and Why God’s Kingdom Works)

  1. I’m really appreciating this series, Jordy! (Is there more to come?) Indeed, the kingdom of self is so flawed.. I think one reason why so many choose the kingdom of self is because they don’t realise there are any alternatives. Even some forms of Christianity don’t offer an alternative to the kingdom of self. We have such a responsibility to be living proof that God’s kingdom is better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Jessica! I think every part of your comment is so true (if true can be “so”) – the part about so many not realizing there are any alternatives, the part about our responsibility to be living proof. Thank you so much sharing your thoughts. You continuously help me to think deeper. Also, there is one more post coming as part of this series. I was supposed to post it last Saturday, but I’ve fallen behind. :/ In any case, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it.

      Like

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