In Matthew 6:33, Jesus contrasted our focus and anxiety about the concerns of this life with seeking the kingdom first and foremost. God knows what we need and He cares about the details of our lives, so this doesn’t mean that we should be oblivious to the world around us. Rather, it means that we must affect the world around us by living from the inside-out.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Mat. 6:33
The Inward Life
Jesus made it clear that we must live from the inside-out by commanding us to keep our main focus on two things: God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness. Since the righteousness of God comes through faith (Rom. 3:21-22), and the kingdom of God is within us (Luk. 17:21), both of these priorities refer to the inward life.
A kingdom is a king’s domain; the extent of his effectual rule. God’s kingdom is evident wherever His authority and power is actively demonstrating His dominion. We are God’s domain, and He intends for us to extend His dominion into the world around us by living from His kingdom which is within us.
Looking In All The Wrong Places
Jesus said that the kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, because it is within us (Luk. 17:20-21). He made this statement because people were looking for the kingdom in all the wrong places then, just as they often do today. Since the kingdom is inside of us, if we are looking for it in the world around us, we’re doing it wrong.
Jesus began His ministry saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mat. 3:2) To repent literally means to change our thinking and to change our actions. In other words, “Change your thinking and actions because the kingdom is right here, right now. You haven’t realized it because it didn’t come with signs to alert you. You need to change your perspective about the kingdom. The authority and power of the King is present and ready to prove His dominion now.”
The Fruit Of The Kingdom
Jesus also said that while God is pleased to freely give us the kingdom (Luk. 12:32), we are responsible to produce its fruits through our lives (Matt. 21:43). Jesus was very specific about this fruit of the kingdom in His earthly ministry.
First, He showed that He relied upon the anointing of the Spirit of the Lord (Luk. 4:18-19). Secondly, He specifically revealed the fruit was the proclamation of good news, healing and deliverance, liberty and recovery, opening the prison doors of bondage, and heralding the favor of God toward us today (Luke 9:2; 10:9; Mat. 4:23; 9:35; 10:7-8).
As disciples of Jesus, our highest goal is to become as He is. Are we living from the inside-out and putting God’s dominion on display as He did?
Jeremy Caris is the founder and president of Caris Ministries. Since he is called as a prophet and gifted as a teacher, much of his focus involves equipping believers to hear, know, and follow God in their own daily experience. He teaches the foundational truth of the Word with simple clarity, while revealing deep things of the spirit in practical ways. He has the unique ability to demystify the supernatural side of real relationship with a living God and make it an embraceable and accessible reality for all believers. Jeremy has been married to his best friend, Mandy Caris, for eighteen years, and is the proud father of two boys.