One Sunday afternoon, recently, I prayed with someone about their friends who were facing marriage problems. The friends were Christians but the marriage had a history of unhappiness. It seems that both had issues contributing to marital frustrations. The couple were on the brink of another separation, that would probably be permanent this time.
I prayed with the person who was concerned about this couple. As I prayed I felt prompted to pray something I had never done before. I prayed that the Kingdom of God would invade the lives and home of this couple and overturn the issues in both of them, bringing them back to God and removing the interfering influences from their past.
This was not exactly the prayer my friend expected, as they were thinking of a painless separation. However, I prayed as I felt prompted.
Several days later my contact phoned to let me know that a miracle had taken place on the very Sunday we prayed. The couple decided at short notice to go to a different church that night. The sermon spoke directly to the husband and he decided to rededicate his life.
The wife also went forward for prayer and felt great reassurance through the ministry.
It seems, then, that God answered the prayer and the lives and home of the couple was invaded by the Kingdom of God.
That got me reflecting about what it means for the Kingdom of God to be present and what it might have meant when John the Baptist preached that two thousand years ago.
John’s sermon was very simple.
“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:1,2
When Jesus began His own public ministry guess what His message was.
“From that time on Jesus began to preach saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17
When Jesus sent out His disciples to go preach and do miracles He told them to preach the same message.
“Heal the sick in the town and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you.” Luke 10:9
Most Christians know about John’s message, calling people to repent. We know that John talked about the Kingdom of God being near. But we don’t seem to understand the potency of the situation or the message.
Let’s put the message about the Kingdom, preached by John, Jesus and the disciples, in different terms. Let’s see that John was saying something like this …
“Repent, because the Kingdom of God is invading your world!”
If the Kingdom of God were to invade your world right now, what would it mean?
The authority of God would arrive and there would be nothing that could resist it, since God is GOD! None of the things that currently have priority in your life, from your own selfish delusions and the sins you excuse in yourself, to the powers of hell that are arrayed against you, to all the failures you’ve even manage to pile up, can have any potency in your life and situation if the Kingdom of God has invaded your world.
So, if you were aware that the Kingdom of God had invaded your world, you would promptly repent of those sins and compromises in your life that God would not approve of.
We see something of the potency that comes with the arrival of God’s Kingdom through Jesus’ answer to those who opposed Him. They said Jesus was casting out demons by the power of Satan. In His reply Jesus linked the power to drive out demons with evidence that God’s Kingdom was there.
“If I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” Luke 11:20
So the arrival of God’s Kingdom, as John, Jesus and the disciples announced it, really meant something quite potent. It meant that all the diseases, issues and devil-caused problems could now be radically overturned. Sins could be forgiven. Lives could be set free. Habits could be broken. Fears could be quelled. Life could be given to the dead.
Why? Because the Kingdom of God had invaded!
The message John preached was not some religious nicety, with subtle significance, but a bold declaration of power suddenly on hand and God’s sovereignty immediately available to transform lives and situations.
I will never see John’s sermon the same old way ever again.
But what about your situation? Call out to God for a Kingdom Invasion.