My awesome Dad has been revealing some amazing truths to me and as I begin to trust Him in these areas, I have begun experiencing His heavenly kingdom established here on earth. In the Lord’s Prayer when Jesus taught the disciples to pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as in heaven” [Matthew 6:10] – This phrase now seems to be making more and more sense to me. Jesus said that His kingdom was already here [Matthew 12:28]. As Peter confirmed that, God has poured out His Spirit on all flesh in these last days and this is how the kingdom has made its presence here on earth. Physically the kingdom is yet to arrive, but God has already established it spiritually. Therefore, there remains much for us to perceive and receive from it. All the promises and blessings of God are present in this kingdom. The victory that Jesus gave His life for already exists in this kingdom and needs to become a reality in the physical kingdom. God has given us everything we need for life and godliness [2 Peter 1:3] here.
When we walk in the Spirit, we walk in the established kingdom of God, when we walk in the flesh we walk in the physical kingdom, which still belongs to the prince of darkness. Therefore, everything depends on your walk. Paul urges the Galatians to live in the Spirit. He says, “If we live in the Spirit, then let us also walk in the Spirit” [Galatians 5:25] indicating that just being aware of the Spirit kingdom is not sufficient but we need to walk in it. Notice in [Galatians 5:16] he says, “Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh”. In other words walking in the Spirit takes care of your fulfillment of the law of righteousness. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? In times past, people struggled trying to keep this law, but now God has revealed to us that by walking in the Spirit we are actually fulfilling it. This is why Paul says to the Romans that those who walk after the Spirit (I will deal with “after the Spirit” in a while), have fulfilled the righteousness of the law [Romans 8:4], and because we have fulfilled the law, we can never have any condemnation due to our identity in Christ [Romans 8:1]. Therefore, even though we see misery, pain, sickness and defeat in the physical kingdom, the truth is that all this has been defeated in the Spirit kingdom and as we begin to trust God and His Spirit, it will manifest into our physical lives. Ever wondered why Jesus said, [Matthew 6:33 – NIV] “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”. If the kingdom of God were only a matter of life after death or what happens in heaven, then why would Jesus say, “All these things will be given to you as well”? What are the things Jesus was talking about? If you read from verse 25, He talks about food, drink, clothing and shelter. These things are more important for us now in this world. So, Jesus did mean that if we sought the Kingdom of God now in this world then we would receive all these things now in this world.
Now let us look at what’s the difference between “in the spirit” and “after the spirit”?
If you do a search through the bible for the phrase “in the Spirit”, you will notice one thing that it refers to a specific kind of action (usually in the present, but could be an action of the past or the future too). It speaks about a ‘unit’ action that has been done, that is being done or that is about to be done in the Spirit of God. E.g. [Acts 19:21 – NKJV]“When these things were accomplished, Paul purposed in the Spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem”
[Acts 20:22 – NKJV]“And see; now I go bound in the Spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there”
Doing things ‘in the Spirit’ is important and necessary for all of us; it indicates God’s Spirit is with us in that task or purpose. However, how many times in the bible we have seen people achieve a God-given purpose and then stray from the path of God. Paul says to the Galatians [Galatians 3:3 – NKJV] “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” This is the danger of achieving a God-given purpose that success can get to your head and you can try doing things henceforth in the flesh. Therefore, it is more important that we continue to achieve further tasks and purposes of God by remaining in the Spirit and that is what it means to be ‘after the Spirit’. This phrase refers to an ongoing and continuous lifestyle of walking in the Spirit. Once you achieve a God-given purpose, it is not the end. God wants you to go further and achieve more of the purposes that He has for you. [Romans 8:5 – NKJV]“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”
There’s a lot more that I’d like to share about here, but I have to keep it bite-sized for now. So keep a look out for further posts on this topic. Until then “Stay Blessed!”
Related Post – “The Kingdom Of God”