Spirit-Filling, Kingdom-Living

By: Jenny Stricklin
From the beginning, the crowds were perplexed. There was nothing imperial or impressive about this man. And He certainly wasn’t the political trailblazer they had all expected.

They assumed the Kingdom He spoke of would be the reinstatement of the national throne. But instead, Jesus taught that the Kingdom would be a world reordered around His love and lordship.

Even just before He was taken up to Heaven in Acts 1:6, the disciples double-checked. “Lord, is now the time to free Israel and restore the Kingdom?” they asked.

Jesus must have smirked a little when he replied, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

They expected a revolution. But Jesus knew they needed to “receive.”
They wanted an empire regained. But Jesus prophesied the whole earth reclaimed.

All along, He’d taught about a new kind of living. He was painting a picture of a world freed from sin. He was inviting them to join His mission, charging them to own this vision.  

The problem though, was that the people had been powerless to do it.

But when the Spirit of God was poured out at Pentecost, a miracle happened. The King that had walked among them, now made his home inside them! The power that rested on Christ, now resided in the Church. And this spirit-filling enabled Kingdom living!

In Acts 2:42-27, we glimpse the earliest version of the Church, this new community of lives radically reorganized around the mission and vision of the King.

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

To be saved into God’s Kingdom is to embrace God’s rule and reign in every aspect of life. It’s putting our “yes” on the table and going all in. Open hands, open heart, open mouths for His glory!

When the people of God were filled with the Spirit of God, it advanced the Kingdom of God. And this is still how it works even now.

One day Jesus will take His rightful place, and reign victoriously in a literal kingdom. One day people will see His unrivaled majesty and might. But today Jesus reigns around the globe in hearts and homes and churches and communities that are fully yielded to His Holy Spirit.

Spirit, we need a fresh filling.
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