I recently visited some of my family. Unfortunately, they are not Christian and I was acutely aware that the Kingdom needed to impact them, but I was not sure how. An intellectual discussion on the Kingdom would have done little to impress. Somehow, they needed to experience it, and there was the rub.
I can honestly say that I am not the man I would have been if I had not encountered Jesus all those years ago, yet, for all that, how much difference do people see? I hope they see someone who is, at least in some ways loving and not judging. Yet there are plenty of people like that who are not Christian. Would anyone really see anything in me that they would want to follow? To be honest, I doubt it. Yet, if they encountered Jesus in the same way I can’t help feeling they would respond differently. Those who encounter Jesus encounter the Kingdom in a very real way. Even before his miracles are reported, people wanted to follow him. So I am left frustrated. Frustrated by my own inadequacy, by my own inability to demonstrate the life of the Kingdom.
It is in the midst of this frustration that I have needed to remind myself that it is not all down to me. Even Jesus said he only did what the Father was doing. It is the Spirit at work in our lives that makes the difference. And I cannot control the Spirit, who blows where he wills. What is left then, is what Jesus commanded, that we pray “your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. It may not seem much, but it is a start, and it is what has been commanded. It is like a farmer planting seed. Once planted, there is nothing left to do, but sit back and wait for the rain.