Tim Chester describes the kingdom of God as “God’s people, in God’s place, living under God’s rule.” It began with Adam and Eve in the Garden, enjoying the unrivaled beauty of Eden, living in relational harmony with one another, and experiencing unbroken fellowship with God.
The most visible representation of God’s people in God’s place living under God’s rule was the nation of Israel living in the land of promise under the representative rule of an ideal (though terribly flawed) king. There were hints, however, of a greater king, a far more extensive kingdom and a renewed people who would live in covenant faithfulness to their king. In fact, Habakkuk envisioned a day when, The whole earth would “be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
We are the new covenant people of God, living and thriving under the gracious rule of our king in the place were he has planted us. While the kingdom of God knows no boundaries, we do. So we experience the kingdom of God in the ordinary events of everyday life. As God’s people, living in God’s place, under God’s gracious rule we extend his rule in the common spaces of home, neighborhood, the work place, throughout our city, and in the spaces we gather for worship. There are no sacred spaces, but there are holy endeavors we bring to all the spaces we occupy. Those holy endeavors may be as mundane as doing your job well as a reflection of the God who does all things well, or as exalted as proclaiming his majesty with one heart and one voice in corporate worship. Paul tells us, “Whatever you do, whether you eat or you drink, do it all to the glory of God.”
We have often spoken of becoming the people God intends us to be as we move into the place God has prepared for us. In one sense we already occupy those spaces, but in another sense we will be occupying a new space—a beautiful worship space, in the middle of a thriving community, that desperately needs to see a people who are committed to being Christ’s church for the glory of their King and the sake of their city—being God’s people in God’s place living and thriving under God’s rule.