Every Monday in July, I will be sharing a different mindset that has helped me pursue God’s call on my life. In this blog, I’ll be talking about what it means to have a kingdom mindset.
In Christian circles, we throw around the word ‘Kingdom’ a lot. We talk about building wealth for the Kingdom and doing things with a Kingdom mindset, but what does that really mean? I didn’t critically ask myself this question until several decades into my faith journey. At that point, I had stopped being a pastor and was well on my way into retirement. Out of curiosity, I called up two pastors I knew and asked them question after question about the Kingdom. They came from completely different denominations than I did, which was perfect because I needed a fresh perspective. The pastors had very insightful things to say, but one verse in particular really jumped out at me. Right after Jesus encourages the crowd around Him not to worry, He says,
“Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you,” (Matthew 6:33).
All my life, I read that verse as “Seek God first” or “Seek Jesus first.” However, the Kingdom distinction makes all the difference. Of course, when we seek the Kingdom we are seeking God, but more specifically we are seeking His will in the earth. It’s not about us as individuals—it’s about the whole world.
The Gospel of Salvation + The Gospel of the Kingdom
I came to faith at a time when the gospel of salvation was all the rage. The gospel of salvation preaches that anyone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God is saved, born again, and will go to heaven when they die. It is absolutely necessary. However, without the gospel of the Kingdom, the gospel of salvation is limited. The gospel of the Kingdom preaches on the powerful things we can do with our faith while we’re living in human form.
A failure to grasp the gospel of the Kingdom is why so many churches today are stuck within their four walls. They don’t actually engage with culture to make an impact. Someone with a Kingdom mindset cares about the poor, needy, and brokenhearted. They devote their lives to the service of others. They aren’t viewed as self-righteous or hypocritical because they’re too busy loving others. Someone with a Kingdom mindset will also recklessly abandon anything for the sake of the gospel. They realize that following the voice of the Holy Spirit is the most important thing (Matthew 13:44).
When it comes to the Gospel of Salvation and the Gospel of the Kingdom, it’s not an either or—it’s a both and. Jesus illustrates this when He encourages his disciples to pray
“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” (Matthew 6:10).
We need a paradigm shift. As the Body of Christ, the mission of our lives must be to enact this kingdom culture in the earth. Bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to earth looks different for everyone. It is an expression of one’s relationship to God and their desire to enact His will. So, I can’t tell you exactly what this means for you—you have to seek it out for yourself. However, there is a blueprint that can help.
The 7 Mountains
The 7 Mountains are a framework we have for thinking about God’s Kingdom in the earth. Essentially, the 7 mountains are representative of the primary spheres of culture. They are religion, business, government, family, education, media, and the arts. There is a spiritual battle for influence in these mountains, and as the Body of Christ, we have to be aware of it. The goal is to reform every area of culture with Kingdom principles so that the world will taste and see that the Lord is good.
In my opinion, right now the family, education system, media, and arts mountains have the influence over culture. The messages coming out of these areas dictate what people value, think, and believe. The government and business mountains are the control centers. They create the laws and regulate the flow of money, so having kingdom-minded Christians active in this area is extremely powerful. Right now, as you can see in the diagram below, the Church is on the same playing field as the rest of the mountains. However, in order for the kingdom to exist on earth as it does in heaven, the Church needs to be above the rest of the mountains. I’m not saying we should implement a theocracy, but Christian influence should be permeating every sphere.
We are Pioneers
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Jesus calls us into new territory. So, discipleship to Jesus looks like diving into uncomfortable situations in an effort to bring the Kingdom of Heaven into unfamiliar spaces. Scripture encourages us in the fact that we have everything we need to answer this call (Colossians 2:10).
I believe that we are on the cusp of the 3rd Great Awakening. God desperately wants to reform all areas of culture, and He wants to do it through the Body of Christ—you and me. We have to wake up to the fact that our lives are not about us anymore…they’re about the Kingdom.
Creating a Kingdom culture may seem like a daunting or even impossible task. Instead of getting discouraged, focus on what you can do.
- Adopt a Kingdom mindset. Realize that you are on mission with God every single day!
- Find scripture about the Kingdom of God (Matthew 13 is a great chapter) and meditate on the meaning.
- Begin to pray about how you can implement Kingdom principles in your workplace.
- Know what ‘mountain’ you are most equipped to serve in right now. For me, that area is Business. At different times, my focus has been on the Church and Family mountain. Those are still very important to me, however, now that I’m not pastoring and my children are grown, I direct more attention to transforming the Business mountain. Everything is connected, so the work I do in the Business mountain inevitably affects other areas as well!
- Realize that you were born for such a time as this (Esther 4:14.) You have something unique to bring to the table that our culture desperately needs.
I hope this blog has encouraged you. What does having a Kingdom mindset mean to you? Let me know in the comments!