Spiritual Rhythm: Being With Jesus Every Season Of Your Soul
By Mark Buchanan
“Living The Kingdom Life”
“There is a way to please God in each and every moment, and to receive the strength of God for just such a thing. And there is a way to disappoint God in each and every situation-by our actions, words, thoughts, attitudes-and to refuse His strength to do otherwise.”
Like Buchanan, I am borderline obsessed with understanding the kingdom life and seeking to live it. Maybe my problem is that I should be more than borderline obsessed. It should be my everything for every moment of my day. It is not. But I long for it to be. Buchanan is right to interpret much of recent Christianity as more about individual salvation than an invitation to live for the king. When we are saved in Christ, we are more than just saved from something. We are also saved to something. Yes, we are saved from sin, shame, death and Hell. And we are also saved to an eternity that is in the kingdom of God ruled by a perfect loving righteous King. I want that life now. All of it.
I like how Buchanan explains the kingdom life as walking in the light. I see walking in the light as living moment by moment in obedience and joy. We think too much about the past and future. I understand that the past teaches us about who we are, where we come from, and we can learn from both of our mistakes and our failures. Yet, the past is the past and we cannot change it. We also think too much about the future. At least, I know I do. It is important to cast vision for the future and yearn for a better life. However, if we are constantly looking to something in the future, then we completely miss the present and all God has for us here. Christ calls us to walk in the light of obedience right now. How can I seek the kingdom first in what I am doing now? How can I have kingdom thoughts right now? We have the ability to choose the way of Jesus every moment.
The kingdom life that walks in the light is also full of moment-by-moment joy. Buchanan used the example of Paul and Silas singing praises from prison. One of my deepest prayers is for God to enable me to see the beautiful blessings He has given me in ever moment. I might be stressed sitting in traffic, but I am sitting with the great wife and kids He has blessed me with. I might be laboring over yard work, but I am doing it at the home he has given me, with my family He has blessed me with, under the warm autumn sun He has created. The kingdom life is an obedient and joyful life that is marked by sacrifice of this world’s pleasures. I do not need what this world offers because I have what God’s kingdom offers. That is how you know your are growing in the kingdom life. You find yourself not wanting the pleasures of this world and you have an insatiable desire for more of God.
Buchanan points out that the way to live the kingdom life is to be filled with the spirit. How does that look practically? We must engage regularly in kingdom fostering activities. The more we spend time praying, seeking God, reading His Word, listening to worship music, and even reading a book like this one, the more we are inspired to live a kingdom life. Someone once said, “show me your closest friends, and I will show you the future you.” To pursue the kingdom life we must be around others who are also pursuing it. We should be in a good church, engage in small groups, prayer groups and other places of true fellowship. The kingdom life was never meant to be lonely.
I would love to hear what impacted you most about these two chapters. What did you life? Not like?