Over and over again I am faced with how different the ways of God are when compared to the ways of the world. (1) This
should not be a surprise to me since Jesus Himself declared that His kingdom (of which I am a part) is not of this world. (2)
The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom and therefore is governed by spiritual laws. The child of God who understands
these spiritual laws will enjoy the kingdom of God while here on earth. The Christian who fails to gain the knowledge of these
laws and who is not diligent to implement and practice them sadly will be relegated to the same existence as unbelievers.
Even though they are in covenant with God, they will not eat of the wonderful benefits of it. What the sinner fears, the
unlearned Christian will fear; the failures of the sinner will be the same failures as the unlearned Christian; the limitations of
the natural laws of the earth will affect both the sinner and the unlearned Christian. This is not God’s will for His children who
are deemed by Him to be children of light and children of the day. (3)

  Knowledge is the key to opening the spiritual laws of God to us. The laws of God are contained in the Holy Scriptures so
therefore knowledge of the Word of God is how we gain the understanding we need to operate successfully in the Kingdom.
God said it this way through His prophet, “My people perish for a lack of knowledge…” (4) Indeed this sadly applies to many
who are born again and in the family of God. Understand this: Nothing can displace the need to feed on the good Word of
God. (5) Truth being taught to us by the Holy Spirit who is our Teacher (6) is the only way we can learn and grow into
successful Kingdom dwellers.

  We gain the knowledge from the Scriptures from personally studying the Word as well as by hearing men and women of God
who are anointed by the Holy Spirit to teach us the truth. (7) Much can be gleaned directly from our reading the Bible so this
must be the primary way we learn; however, many passages and words in the Bible need explanation and instruction. This is
why Jesus has set Elders in place in His Church with His ability to deliver truth to His people under the unction of the Holy
Spirit. (8) Both personal study of the Scriptures and sitting under anointed teaching are necessary for successful Kingdom

  The spiritual laws of the Kingdom almost always defy human reasoning and common sense. (9) This statement is confirmed
when we remember some of the things God requires of us, things like speaking to the mountain, (10) walking on water, (11)
believing Jesus turned water into wine, (12) accepting the truth that Jesus was resurrected from the dead, (13) actually
believing that the miracles Jesus did we can do also! Such things affirm to us that the Gospel is foolish and even
preposterous… to the carnal mind, (14) but not so to you and me. So the first thing a Christian must do is recognize and
accept that God’s ways are different than the natural ways we have seen in operation all of our lives. See
Isaiah 55:8-9For My
thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My
ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

  You and I benefit from the insights into the daily lives of the twelve disciples of Jesus. We are allowed to see these men
learning and growing as they come into the new and higher ways of God and they are taught how to operate successfully in
the Kingdom of God. Peter learns a hard lesson when he cuts off the ear of a soldier. James and John want to call down fire
from heaven on their detractors but they quickly learn that is not the Kingdom way. Peter sees that God’s supply for their
taxes can come from the mouth of a fish. The disciples learn obedience, compassion, diligence, love, forgiveness, and many
other Kingdom principles by hanging around Messiah who is the King of this Kingdom. They were being prepared for
Kingdom greatness and leadership in the Church; so it is with you and me. We too must learn the Kingdom ways of God.

  Whenever you see a command given in the Word of God, stop and consider it carefully. When Jesus tells you to forgive and
not to judge, (15) give, (16) accept one another, (17) etc., each is a command that when obeyed opens to you a Kingdom
promise and makes your life better. Each elevates you ever higher in the ways of God and affords you greater and greater
freedom in the Kingdom of God. (18) For example, when you forgive, you have the assurance of walking in the state of
forgiveness with God. When you choose not to judge someone else, you position yourself in the favor of God. Giving, as you
are commanded to do, releases the Kingdom principle of prosperity because your gift is a seed that produces after its kind.
Your acceptance of others who happen to believe differently on peripheral issues is a powerful means of preserving peace
within the Body of Christ. You see from these examples how obedience to God’s Word is a key to successful Kingdom living;
obedience is also your way of demonstrating to God your love for Him. (19)

  Jesus makes an interesting and almost incomprehensible statement when He declares to us that our Father’s good
pleasure is to give us the Kingdom! (20) Just to know God is our Daddy is an awesome thought, but then to add to that the
truth that He has given us the Kingdom which literally means we have access to all that under His dominion. (21) Successful
Kingdom living knows no lack or poverty, sickness and disease have no rights to us, fear is a defeated foe, doubt and
unbelief are foreign to us, confusion and uncertainty have no place in us, God’s favor literally surrounds us, we are strong in
the power of His might, we are continually led in triumph, we can discern all things with the mind of Christ, and we are
blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. Wow! That, my friend, is successful Kingdom living and that is the will of
your Father in heaven.

  None of us has fully attained it all as yet; however, as we continue to learn and grow we are getting ever closer and closer
to experiencing the highest level of successful Kingdom living. I say, “Amen.”

Notes / Biblical References:

1.        Isaiah 55:8-9
2.        John 18:36
3.        I Thessalonians 5:5
4.        Hosea 4:6
5.        II Timothy 2:15
6.        John 14:26
7.        Ephesians 4:11-12
8.        I Timothy 3:1-7
9.        I Corinthians 2:6-16
10.        Mark 11:23
11.        Matthew 14:29
12.        John 2:1-12
13.        Romans 8:11
14.        I Corinthians 3:19
15.        Luke 6:37
16.        Luke 6:38
17.        Romans 14
18.        John 8:32
19.        John 14:21
20.        Luke 12:32
21.        II Peter 1:3-4
Successful Kingdom Living
By Bishop Randy Barnett