©Joy Dunlap https://joydunlap.com
People have been taking a “step back” from the original royal family since Adam and Eve did so in the garden.
All the world’s abuzz with chatter about Meghan and Harry, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who, as you surely know, announced they are taking a “step back” from their royal duties.
That got me thinking…
Do we ever do that? As children of the King, in the family by the blood of Jesus, do we ever “step back” from the roles we have in the Kingdom of God?
The desire to walk in our own way calls out to us, yet we want to hold tight to treasured family benefits. The riches of the Kingdom of joy and peace and the promises of God through Christ Jesus.
But the world cries out just as the serpent implied in the Garden of Eden – “What if there’s more you’re missing?”
Do we ever choose (or inwardly desire) to be a part of God’s royal family, but live independently? To set aside serving the Lord and furthering the kingdom of God?
Perhaps we’ve been wounded by words and actions due to our spiritual family affiliation and choices that align with the Kingdom. When that happens, do we lash out without love or become selectively silent about our faith? Do we step back?
As we identify ourselves with God’s family, the personal cost may be painful to bear on our own. What if relationships sever? A job is lost? An opportunity eludes us?
Thankfully, we aren’t alone. God offers us fortitude, strength and wisdom when we stay close and communicate with Him.
Living in Two Worlds
Have we ever held on to our identity in Christ but without full commitment? Living life one way on Sundays or with our faith friends, but living in a different way other times may seem to offer more flexibility and freedom. In reality though, that split loyalty costs us the peace we find when fully centered in God’s will, and weakens the image we bear for His Kingdom.
What about our heavenly home? Once we choose to become Kingdom-born, an eternal home is ours. But, if we don’t care enough to live boldly and supportively as part of the Kingdom of God on earth, why should we care about a heavenly residence with other believers and God?
Welcomed Back But…
You probably know well the Biblical story of the son who demanded his inheritance early and used it to pursue the world’s pleasures only to waste what he’d been given and return home. When we do come back, as the parable of the prodigal son demonstrates, the love of our heavenly Father welcomes us home with His mercy and forgiveness.
Oh, but the days or years we spend away from abiding in our heavenly Father, our spiritual family, and Kingdom service are forever lost. Who knows what negative impact our choice to step back and live life our way instead of Kingdom-living may have on others in the family of believers, or among seekers or skeptics?
When we remain in close relationship with God, seeking His will and serving for Kingdom purposes, that’s when we experience true abundant life on earth.
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4 NIV
Riches of the heart, mind and soul found in Him are beyond compare – and never worth trading for what the world offers.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 NIV
- How clear is the image you bear of Christ to others? Do others recognize Him in you?
- Think about a time when you stepped back from our spiritual royal family. What happened? How did you feel when you came back?
- What are some reasons you might step back from being all-in for God and His Kingdom? Before you say, “I wouldn’t,” really contemplate this.
- List some of the blessings you have by being part of the Kingdom of God.
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 2 Peter 1:3-4 NIV
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness…Matthew 6:33a NIV
Remember…Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™