Driven by the Kingdom of God – Mark 1:35-39

November 10, 2022

Driven by the Kingdom of God

Mark 1:35-39

All I have ever known is America. I’ve traveled outside of it and had some experiences. But I’ve only ever known America, particularly its customs, values, and culture. And I think it is easy as a Christian to be influenced by its values— such as popularity, winning, and the American Dream—and for those values to color our lenses and even drive us. I would venture to say that Christians living outside of America experience unique value influence from their nations as well.

Jesus’ experience in Capernaum is instructive for us. There He amazes people by casting out an unclean spirit and healing all who were sick and demon-possessed. The next morning, He is praying in solitude and His disciples cannot find Him. They searched eagerly for Him and when they found Him, they exclaimed, “Everyone is looking for You.” Jesus’ response is key. He says, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” The people wanted more of Jesus there—whether His teachings and/or miracles—but He was not going to be driven by what they wanted.

Jesus was not going to be sidetracked by people or their values, no matter how noble they might be. Rather, He was driven by the kingdom of God. And as such He prays early even after a long day, staying focused and empowered by God the Father. He preaches even though people likely want to see more miracles, for that is why He was sent. Jesus shows us a life driven by God’s Kingdom that still inspires our daily lives.

As Americans, it is far too easy to be influenced by the American ideal of the daily life. Things within the American ideal may not necessarily be bad, but they are not what ultimately drive us as Christians. No, we are driven by God’s kingdom; its proclamation, its reality in our lives, and giving our time, talent, and resources to its continued coming.

My heart is that we don’t become complacent as Christians in America. But that our eyes are open to the awesome reality of God’s Kingdom through Jesus Christ in our daily lives. As citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20), let us be driven by the kingdom of God. Let us live in it, grow in it, share it, and worship God for it.