In his book "Defying Gravity", Tom Berlin talks a lot about the difference between the Kingdom of Self and the Kingdom of God. The kingdom of self is a place that promotes the “what’s in it for me” mentality. Most of us do not like to admit that we live in this kingdom, however how we decide to worship God, serve in ministry, tithe and give faithfully all speak to where our true allegiance lies. When we decide each of the above things regarding how it will affect us person...ally, then we are the kingdom of self-centeredness.
For example, if we focus on spending our money, time, and talents on things that provide pleasure for ourselves and give God whatever is left over of each or any of these things, we are living as the masters of the kingdom of self. In turn, we give to God in this manner as if to say that we are doing God a big favor. Now looking at this from the Christian perspective, a person that follows Jesus gives Jesus the keys to their kingdoms. Jesus is in charge. Serving in the Kingdom of God places God 1st in our planning and spending.
Mr. Berlin gives us three means in which to live our lives more God-centered. The first is that we have to be intentional about our giving. This is treasure, time, and talents. We need to budget in our faithful giving first, make time for serving God primary on our calendars, and seek the means in which our talents can be used for the glory of God. God wants us to be joyful. Taking care of our families is a top priority for God. However, we often confuse things that we want with things that we need.
This brings up the second point. We must learn to live simply. The burden of keeping up with the world market is daunting. There is a new phone out every year; cars are offering the best in technology, houses are being custom built to fulfill the requirements of the kingdoms of self that are out there. To live in God’s kingdom, we have to ask the question about whether or not what we want is necessary and does it take away from being able to serve God honorably?
Finally, we need to set goals for generosity. When we begin the year, we should have a goal in mind about our financial giving to the church and other charitable organizations. We should set the expectation of how much time we are going to allot each week in serve to God’s Kingdom, and finally, we must ask God how God wants us to demonstrate generosity.
The Kingdom of God is already within us, whether or not we choose to serve it or the kingdom of self is really up to us. Jesus tells His disciples that they cannot serve two masters. This is equally true today. I encourage you to examine where your priorities lie in life to see which kingdom you serve. It is never too late to make decisions that lead us further into the Kingdom of God.
In His service always,