I always envied people with dual citizenship. I just thought it was a pretty cool privilege to be considered part of two distinct nations and even cooler when a person held two passports. It was like a secret identity!
Recently, I began to meditate on the fact that we as believers in Christ are a people of dual citizenship. Each of us lives in a country that accepts us as their own. However when you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord of my life”, you are in essence saying, “Jesus is my King.” And anyone who submits to the rule and reign of King Jesus receives citizenship in the kingdom of God. Talk about a wonderful spiritual privilege!
In the Old Testament, Israel made the mistake of wanting a human king so they could be like the other nations. They asked Samuel to give them a king and he could not believe his ears. Samuel in turn consulted the Lord about the people’s request. The Lord told Samuel to give them what they requested, but with fair warning. (1 Samuel 8:6-9)
The people got what they asked for – a flawed human king. Talk about regrets! Somebody, please turn back time! Instead of living under a theocracy (country ruled by God), they decided to live by a human system of government.
As believers today, we have the distinct honor of living in a kingdom in which Jesus is Lord and King. Let me tell you, there is no more wonderful king to live under than King Jesus. He is kind, compassionate, loving, all-powerful, just and yet so merciful. Long live our King!
Yet, we may become so engaged in the world’s system that we forget the fact that “our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20) So instead of living in confidence that our King and Lord will supply for our needs, protect us, guide us and even promote us in his rankings, we can find ourselves caught up arguing, complaining or worrying about the prospects of our future political leaders. Yikes!
Please do not get me wrong. This is not a call for us as Christians to completely remove ourselves from the inner workings of the world in which we live. Nor is this by any means an appeal to abstain from voting. The gospel calls us to be a light and salt to this world. It is near impossible to do either without being integrated to some degree into the fabric and culture of one’s society.
Instead, what I am calling you as a fellow believer to is a paradigm shift in your thinking. Remind yourself, “I am a citizen of heaven and King Jesus is Lord of my life.” No matter whoever is or becomes the next president of the United States or ruler of whatever country in which you hold citizenship, Jesus will ultimately be king. Therefore, our security and promise as his chosen ones truly lies within him.
When we live out of this worldview we find that we are not as easily distracted by the news reports of terror, crime, political tension and unrest. Instead we can live with a serenity that is beyond human rationale. Like our Lord Jesus we can say, “My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36)
What does it mean for you to live as a citizen of the kingdom of heaven here on earth?