The Here and Hereafter
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
One of my favorite Christian bands is Rend Collective Experiment. I love both the unique sound of their music and the thoughtful lyrics in their songs. The first time I ever took notice of this band was when I heard their song “Build Your Kingdom Here” on the radio. It immediately captured my rapt attention because the message of the song rang so true in my spirit. Here are the lyrics from the chorus:
Build Your kingdom here
Let the darkness fear
Show Your mighty hand
Heal our streets and land
Set Your church on fire
Win this nation back
Change the atmosphere
Build Your kingdom here
The song is about what happens when God’s power is released in God’s people to bring His rule and reign to earth. It’s about restoration, renewal, healing, and victory over the darkness.
But my favorite aspect of this song is that it’s a timely anthem for us in the present. It’s NOT a song that points longingly to some abstract point in the future. Instead, it’s about what God can do through us right now to bring his kingdom rule to the atmosphere around us here and now.
When we think about Heaven as believers, we often consider it as primarily an abstract thing a long way off from us that we will experience at some point in our future. We know from Scripture that it will be wonderful because we will be with Jesus, and we won’t experience any more sin or sorrow.
But did you know that our eternal life has already started? The moment you became a believer, you were born of the spirit (John 3:5-8). It is this spirit life that Jesus is talking about when he said that he came so that we can have life and have it abundantly. He is referring BOTH to life here and in the hereafter.
This vibrant life in the spirit has the power and ability to impact the physical atmosphere around us. Our spirit life is empowered by the Holy Spirit, and it can and actually should influence our physical world. More lyrics from the song, “Build Your Kingdom Here”:
Unleash Your kingdom's power
Reaching the near and far
No force of hell can stop
Your beauty changing hearts
You made us for much more than this
Awake the kingdom seed in us
Fill us with the strength and love of Christ
We are Your church
Oh, and we are the hope
Starting today you can bring God’s abundant life into your family, your workplace, your activities, and your appointments. Wherever you go, you have the opportunity to bring hope and joy. Your very presence, because of the Holy Spirit inside of you, can cause the darkness to flee and allow God’s beauty to change hearts.
Think About: Do I believe God wants to bring me abundant life? Am I fully embracing all that Jesus came to bring me? Are there dead places in my spirit and heart that I could allow God to bring back to life? Does this heavenly joy in my life impact those around me?
Pray: Father, thank you for this vibrant life that you have given me. Please help me to walk in all the fullness of your joy, hope, and love. Empower me to change the atmosphere around me with your kingdom power. I want to build your kingdom here and in the hereafter.
**Link to Rend Collective's music video of "Build Your Kingdom Here".