Does a seed ask permission to be planted in a dark place? What about when the pressure cracks it open and it then begins to spring forth with new life? These rhetorical questions actually provide valuable truth for us! When God’s creation yields to the laws of His Kingdom, undeniable fruit is sure to follow.
When any enterprise – business, government, church, etc. – is fully submitted to God and His ever-present Kingdom, there will certainly be some unique distinctions about that culture that emerge. Since the creation of the world, it is clear that the culture exhibited in a Kingdom endeavor is going to demonstrate qualities that reflect the heart of God.
Perhaps there are countless ways in which we can describe it, but for our purposes here, we are going to focus on three distinctions that are present in a Kingdom culture.
God is in the relationship business, and His Kingdom is a family business!
The first distinction is that relationships take priority over plans and ambitions. Following the leadership style of Jesus, we should conclude that in God’s Kingdom, the priority is always the people! For us in the marketplace, this translates to the people inside our organizations first, and then to the people who interact with our organizations on a daily basis. They MUST become a higher priority than strategic planning and progress reports. Both Scripture and history prove to us that plans flourish when relationships are prioritized. When plans become the priority, usually both the plans and the relationships fail. God is in the relationship business, and His Kingdom is a family business! People are always His top priority.
A second Kingdom cultural distinction is that comfort is forever re-defined. It is completely normal for us to seek comfort in our lives, however, there is significant conflict with that in the Kingdom. The truth is that we were not created to be normal! We are created in His image to be super-normal, or supernatural. A “normal” desire is to seek comfort in the situations we face, causing us to define comfort based on the level of discomfort we experience. In God’s Kingdom, comfort is not situational. It is found in the presence of The Comforter, defined by Jesus Himself as the Holy Spirit, whom the Father has sent to us.
Just because something is uncomfortable does not mean change is necessary. God desires that we learn dependence upon Him in the midst of our discomfort. Oftentimes the provision He supplies for us is anti-change! God sometimes tethers us to uncomfortable situations in order to help us learn to find the Comforter in the midst of the difficulty. Look no further than the cross of Jesus Christ to find evidence of this.
Just because something is uncomfortable does not mean change is necessary.
Perhaps Paul L. Cuny says it best in his book, Secrets of the Kingdom Economy, “You are supposed to be uncomfortable because you were made to operate in the Kingdom.”
Finally, we must believe that in a Kingdom culture, things typically work in reverse order. Scripture is erupting with undeniable proof of this. In one example, a young shepherd boy is crowned as King. In another case, a barren woman gives birth, yet in another, it’s a virgin! In His Kingdom, a small army radically defeats an enemy as “numerous as locusts.” The life of Jesus repeatedly affirms this distinction as well, and He made it clear that we are to follow His steps of leadership. The last become first, and the servant is greatest in His Kingdom. The way backward is oftentimes the way forward, and to humble ourselves is the recipe for growth.
We may indeed experience some measurable, earthly success while operating according to our own culture, but any success of this type will simply pile up as insignificant against the measure of true Kingdom success. As leaders, we must intentionally submit to the flow of the Kingdom, knowing that it works in reverse order from that of the typical flow of the world.
We will leave you with a few questions as you consider these distinctions of the Kingdom culture:
- In what ways does your organization already display the culture of God’s Kingdom?
- How are you demonstrating that relationships are a top priority in your business?
- What decision is it that you are currently facing that might be best understood by working things in reverse order?
May you be encouraged today to yield yourself and your business to God’s Kingdom! Undeniable fruit will surely follow.