I was first introduced to the concept of Kingdom Citizens when I listened to sermons by Myles Monroe but I recently heard a poem by Jefferson Bethke called Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY and it reminded me of this concept.
I was raised as a Catholic and while growing up I didn’t really understand what it meant to be ‘born again’. I was already baptized as a baby and I knew who Jesus is, so technically, I was saved right? The thing is, I was never comfortable because I was petrified that I would be going to hell because I was not good enough. I thought that giving my life to Christ would mean giving up everything I enjoyed doing immediately. I thought I would have to go to church every Sunday and only do church activities and live a ‘boring’ life.
Every time I would have an encounter with God and feel Him tugging at my heart I would tell Him I’m not ready yet. I just needed to have a little more fun but I was always afraid of it being too late when I finally got ready or what if I never felt ready?!? That’s what religion does. It locks you into a box. It makes you think that you have to be a certain way and follow a set of strict rules and regulations in order to be saved, of course there are rules to life set out in the Bible that we must follow, but it doesn’t start there. It starts with a genuine relationship with, and love for Christ.
When you have a relationship with God, you start to change and you start to want what God wants because God now lives inside of you in the form of the Holy Spirit. You become a new creation and your mind gets renewed (2Cor 5:17, Rom 12:2). But that does not happen overnight. I used to love to party and ‘get on bad’. For my non-Caribbean folks, ‘get on bad’ means to dance provocatively and lose control. When I went to a party my goal was to dance with the most guys and show off my ‘skills’. Over the years, my love for partying has slowly dwindled. I still love to dance and enjoy myself but I’m not about ‘getting on bad’ and the only man I want to dance like that with, is my husband.
But anyway, back to why I prefer to consider myself a Kingdom Citizen as opposed to just a Christian. Personally, I think that the word Christian is used loosely to refer to anyone that believes that Jesus Christ exists but a citizen of the Kingdom, knows Him on an intimate level. “We walk with Him and we talk with Him and we know that we are His own”, (LOL. Can you tell I love that song?). We know that this earth is not our home and look forward to being with our Father, our King! We know that we were created with a purpose and we spend our lives first trying to find out what that is and then trying to fulfill it.
We know that we are not perfect but we strive for perfection every day because we want to be like our Daddy! We know that other people are not perfect but we are still called to love them and not judge them. We know that everyone’s relationship with our Father is different and that life is a journey and not a race. We know not to look at other’s gifts and blessings and get jealous but celebrate with them and encourage them because it’s all for the glory of God and the Kingdom. We know that it is our responsibility to spread the Word and let everyone know how much our Father loves them and wants to be in relationship with them but that we can’t force or change them. All we need to do is plant a seed and let Daddy do the rest!
Growing up I couldn’t understand what it meant to be ‘born again’ but I thank God every day that I am! I think Rick Warren says it best, “Every human being was created by God, but not everyone is a child of God. The only way to get into God’s family is by being born again into it. You became part of the human family by your first birth, but you become a member of God’s family by your second birth”. My question to you is this, “Are you a child of God? A citizen of the Kingdom?” If you are not, my prayer is that you want to be!
Just doing my Father’s work!