(This blog was originally posted as a Facebook note on Nov 8, 2012.)
Because I was born in this country, the United States considers me its citizen. However, I have a greater, and far more important citizenship. My citizenship is in the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God recognizes no natural or man-made boundaries. It spans the globe, and reaches into all continents and all countries. It is just as much at home beneath the thumb of hostile governments as it is in friendly territories.
The Kingdom of my citizenship is not interested in owning land. It has no interest in oil, gold, or any natural resource. It does not go to war, as does other governments; we have laid down our arms. Yet, we have not ceased to fight. We are always on the move, always marching, always expanding. And what is the conquest of our exploits? We seek to win the hearts of men – but not by the tip of the sword. We have beaten our swords into plowshares, and our spears into pruning hooks. We have no earthly weapon, and have trained ourselves to turn the other cheek if assaulted.
This Kingdom is not a democracy. It is governed by a King. We have no vote. The King has absolute sovereignty, and must be obeyed. To be a citizen, one must set aside his or her own agenda and preferences. We must hate sin just as badly as our King hates it. Yet, our King is kind, forgiving, and slow-to-anger. Those of us who belong to this Kingdom seek to imitate the King, and must also be kind, forgiving, and slow-to-anger.
The citizens of this Kingdom recognize the authority of our King. But the King’s authority is not recognized by others. Rather, my King is seen as rouge. He had once been condemned by a court of law, and is considered criminal. His right to reign is not recognized or accepted. He is mocked, ridiculed, and scornfully considered. All who belong to this Kingdom must be willing to be associated with a rogue King who is despised. We are criminals who are following a criminal. Because our King has not vindicated Himself to the world, we should not expect to be vindicated. Evil men may triumph over us, and we may die beneath their feet. We should not expect a rescue.
Because our King was poor, homeless, and humble, we must not cling to homes or wealth. We must be willing to be humiliated without raising an objection.
The Kingdom of my citizenship does not depend upon any nation. It does not need the United States, or any earthly government. Earthly kingdoms may rise and fall, but this Kingdom will flourish.
Anyone can move their citizenship to this Kingdom. You need only to pledge your allegiance, not with a hand over a heart, but with the life you live. When you become a citizen, you may lose your worldly family and possessions. But instantly you inherit a hundred times more – houses, brothers, sisters, parents, and land as you enter this global Kingdom.
This is my citizenship.