When we start to think about the kingdom of God, we need to start at the beginning. What exactly is it? Quite simply, the kingdom of God is exactly what it sounds like: the realm over which God has sovereignty. A king cannot rule over a region where he does not have authority.
So where does God’s kingdom begin? Where does he rule? In order to answer that question, we need to start at the beginning of the Bible’s story.
It’s God’s World
Genesis 1:1 is one of the most well-known verses in the Bible, and it’s not just because it’s the first words that everyone reads when they open up to the first page. This verse contains some of the most powerful words ever written:
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
These words demonstrate the power of God and reveal his authority over everything that is made. As the story unfolds in Genesis 1 and 2, we see that God creates everything by the power of his speech. He says, “Let there be,” and there is.
What does this have to do with the sphere of God’s sovereignty? Well, the fact that God created everything reveals that his kingdom, his rulership, encompasses all of creation.
All of humanity lives in God’s world. It’s all his kingdom. We do not set the rules.
You may remember the conversation in The Lion King where the king, Mufasa, tells his son Simba that “every thing the light touches” was their kingdom. Simba points out a shadowy place, and Mufasa points out that the shadows were beyond their rule.
Well, even though much in this world seems hectic and out of control, the fact that God has created everything means that nothing is outside of his sphere of sovereignty.
God’s Kingdom is not Chaotic
While the universe seems awfully wild, Scripture points out that when God created, He did not create a chaotic, random world. John 1:1 is another one of those memorable verses in the Bible.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
When John wrote the Word, he used a common, well-known Greek word, the logos, that signified reason and rationality itself. The Word is that organizing principle that has structured all of reality. Of course, the Bible reveals that this is more than just an organizing principle, he is an Organizing Person.
The discipline of science shows us the orderliness of creation, but in the Triune God, we see that the Lord has done more than just create an orderly universe. He has also created humanity for a certain order. He is life, and he gives that life to us as a light.
Proverbs 3:19-20 depicts a Creator God who builds a universe upon wisdom and knowledge, not randomness. So, we should expect the same in the way that we live our lives. There’s not only a physical structure to the universe. There is also a moral structure that gives us purpose.
A Life of Purpose
As the creation story unfolds in Genesis 1:27-28, God eventually creates humanity. Even though he creates perfection, calling every thing he makes good, God does not create humanity and say, “Enjoy all this good stuff!”
No. He not only creates and establishes a kingdom, he creates humanity in his image. As image-bearers, we are commanded to be fruitful and multiply. We are created to be mini-kings and mini-queens who subdue and rule over the earth.
So God created man
in his own image;
he created him in the image of God;
he created them male and female.
God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.”
God created humanity for a reason, and if he created our entire species for a purpose, then you just might expect that your own life plays a part in his story.
How often do we wake up in the morning and wonder, “What might God’s plan for this day be? How might I seek his kingdom purposes today?”
God created humanity to be a part of his story and a part of making God’s kingdom known. Just as God made a beautiful, compelling world of purpose, may we, as Christians, imitate him in finding creative ways to accomplish what he put us here to do.
So, tell others about him.