Our unobstructed purpose in God’s kingdom
God, divine Love, is continuously providing opportunities to all His children to progress, to be productive.
With globalization, the number of people studying or working in countries other than their own has grown significantly in recent years. Immigration laws manage this movement of people by requiring noncitizens to have permits to live, study, or find employment, but navigating one’s way through this process can be a daunting task whenever there is “red tape” or excessive bureaucracy involved. Thankfully, prayer can show the way forward.
At one time, I needed to get a work permit in order to take up a job I was offered while living overseas. It seemed very unlikely that I would get the necessary permissions in time. Searching for a higher, spiritual perspective, I turned to the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, to better understand Christ Jesus’ many references to the kingdom of God.
Jesus said, “God’s kingdom is here” (Matthew 3:2, Eugene Peterson, The Message). What is this kingdom? Jesus wasn’t talking about a geographical location enclosed by national borders and divided by race or citizenship. It’s not a physical location, but rather a state of thought or spiritual consciousness. And Jesus said this kingdom is “within you” (see Luke 17:21).
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy describes the kingdom of heaven as “the reign and rule of universal harmony” (p. 208) and “the realm of unerring, eternal, and omnipotent Mind” (p. 590). She also describes it as “unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love” (p. 248). The kingdom of God is a spiritual, holy habitation, the new heaven and new earth referred to in the book of Revelation in the Bible (see 21:1).
As God’s children, all of us—every man, woman, and child—are citizens of this heavenly kingdom, with equal rights and privileges. Governed by divine Principle, Love, all citizens are under the jurisdiction of God’s “perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25)—the liberty to be what God has created us to be. Each citizen has the right to freely live, move, learn, and work in this kingdom of heaven. And God, divine Love, is continuously providing opportunities to all His children to progress, to be productive, to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28).
Christ Jesus likened the kingdom of heaven to leaven, a substance such as yeast that makes dough expand and rise. The acknowledgment, understanding, and practice of the kingdom of heaven causes our thought to rise from a limited, material perspective to the acceptance of a grander, spiritual view. Mrs. Eddy calls on “citizens of the world” to do just that—to “accept the ‘glorious liberty of the children of God,’ and be free!” (Science and Health, p. 227).
The kingdom of God is a spiritual, holy habitation, the new heaven and new earth referred to in Revelation.
This freedom comes through the understanding of our true, spiritual identity as the image and likeness of God, as ideas of the divine Mind. Accepting this Christly message about ourselves, that we are ideas in—citizens of—God’s kingdom, governed by God’s laws, doesn’t give us license to flout the laws of the land. But it does free us from fearing that the direction of our lives is dependent on human governments or legislative policies; that life prospects can get lost in a tangle of bureaucracy; that progress and success can be out of reach for certain people because of nationality or geography. The power of Christ, Truth, enables us to discern, and to overcome, any such sense of our prospects being materially defined or limited.
As I pondered deeply these ideas, my work permit arrived very quickly. Simple steps for the application process had emerged as my thought was uplifted by the recognition that I was subject to God’s perfect law of liberty, and that nothing could obstruct God’s plan for me.
In the Bible, the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, questioning Jesus before his crucifixion, asked, “Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?” Pilate certainly had, and exercised, the human authority to determine Jesus’ earthly fate in the way that he claimed. But he could not stand in the way of God’s purpose for Jesus being fulfilled. This enabled Jesus to respond, “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above” (John 19:10, 11). And Jesus’ confidence was vindicated when his crucifixion was followed by his resurrection, the demonstration of the deathless nature of divine Life, which is God.
Each one of us has a designated purpose and place to fill in the kingdom of heaven, and it’s this spiritual purpose that determines our practical opportunities to live fully. Mrs. Eddy wrote, “Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity” (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 70). In reality, no material circumstances can restrict a right idea from coming to fruition. If we are being called to fulfill our spiritual purpose of blessing others by expressing our God-given talents and abilities at certain times and in certain places, then the way will open up so that we can do this to the fullest.
Each one of us has a designated purpose and place to fill in the kingdom of heaven.
What if it seems that there are factors limiting our life prospects even if we are not world travelers? There may be a barrier in thought that would try to hedge us in with limitations—perhaps a lack of educational qualifications, a troubled childhood, or a medical diagnosis. It is possible to soar beyond such would-be barriers by recognizing our real, spiritual identity as a citizen in God’s kingdom, undefined and unlimited by events of the past, medical theories, or any other human assessment.
When faced with limiting circumstances, we, like Jesus, can confidently say, “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.” Let the leaven of divine Truth—of the kingdom of God within you—“enlarge the place of thy tent” (Isaiah 54:2). In other words, expand your thought beyond a material to a spiritual sense of your purpose and lifework, and experience the transforming results.