By Carolyn Hittenberger
Luke 17: 21…behold the Kingdom of God is within you.
“A man’s home is his castle,” so said William Pitts in the 18th century.
We rejoiced when, officially, legally, all papers were signed and the house belonged to us. However, it still had the residual imprints of its former owner. We made changes and added touches that would make it a place that fits us, reflects us, that says, “We live here!” This is our residence, where we reside and preside, a place of warmth and welcome, shelter from the cold, our little “kingdom,” the place where we dwell.
Each small change, each meal shared, each night of rest, adds to the sense that this is where we belong. We knocked out a wall to create openness. Light now filters into areas long deprived of the sun’s healing rays. The dark stained varnish from the past had to go. Cupboards, closets and corners are swept clean of any leftovers from the past.
Piece by piece the furnishings are considered. If they please us they stay; if not, they go. More and more the imprint of “us” is seen. This small piece of property reflects who we are. This is our castle. We are at home.
The Kingdom of God cannot be adequately compared to any earthly entity. Yet, in reflecting on our tiny, temporal “kingdom,” we learn more about His Kingdom.
God’s day by day creative work in Genesis transformed a dark, empty planet into a place of such beauty and wonder that it shouted, “God is here!” His careful plan and process as He formed mankind, revealed His longing for pure fellowship. From dusty earth He drew man’s frame, then breathed Himself into that lifeless form until He saw in Adam a reflection of Himself. With Adam and Eve in Eden, God could come and chat and feel at home…in their hearts. With holy purpose He sowed the seed of His Kingdom on earth.
Sin severed communion between God and man, marring His mirrored image. God could no longer fellowship with man’s darkened nature, but His plan did not change. He didn’t abandon His Kingdom building. He sent His Son, God-in-flesh, to buy back Kingdom relationship.
Each time a soul accepts His salvation, God initiates His work of building in him/her a suitable residence for Himself. He is the new owner. A wall is torn down here, dark stains removed there, leftovers from the previous owner are swept away. Furnishings unacceptable for God’s occupancy must go.
When I accepted Jesus as my Savior, He came into my life to establish His Kingdom. I am His. I am His residence, His castle. We have Kingdom relationship. More and more, He removes the old and brings in the new. Step by step, I learn to make Him my King. I want Him to be at home in me, in His church, in His world. Around me, through me, and in me, with loving detail He is building His Kingdom…a place where He can live, a place imprinted with and reflecting who He is!
Father, how could I ever express how grateful I am that you want to live in me? I don’t fully understand how that can be. Yet, I long for it to be so. I am yours. I desire no Kingdom of my own. Build your Kingdom in me. Make my heart Your home.
Carolyn Hittenberger served as the Administrative Assistant to Global University’s Regional Director of the Caribbean until her retirement in December of 2013. Carolyn continues to work with Global University as a writer and a volunteer. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.