I chose kingdom-living as my one little word for 2023 after an extensive thought process. Months earlier, I had chosen the word peace, specifically relating to peace of mind. But God showed me peace is only one aspect of kingdom-living, and I need to embrace all of it.
Peace of Mind
Peace of mind takes practice. It is easy to be overwhelmed by daily decisions and overthinking. A 2020 study suggests humans have about 6,000 thoughts per day. In my effort to grow a business, take care of a family, and write another book, my mind became a maelstrom of competing thoughts and goals. So choosing peace as my one little word for 2023 seemed appropriate.
During the 2020 lockdown, I adopted Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV) as a personal mantra in an effort to still my mind. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
I later added II Corinthians 10:5 (NKJV), focusing on …bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Not all thoughts are bad thoughts; but even good thoughts may create anxiousness. We make numerous daily decisions, and often must choose between equally positive alternatives. This creates anxiety when we fear we might make the wrong decision.
Based on those two scriptures, peace seemed a good choice for my 2023 word. In preparation, I took a break from work and writing during the holidays. I focused on family and rest. It freed my mind. It was needed. But as the New Year arrived and my focus shifted back to work and writing, God directed me to a broader concept—kingdom-living as my one little word.
Peace, while desirable, might tempt me to draw back from things that create turmoil or conflict. And that’s not peace; that’s avoidance. God’s peace is the peace that calms in the middle of a storm. It is peace regardless of circumstances. It’s peace when we make a decision. It’s extravagant peace. It’s Kingdom peace.
Kingdom peace comes with true Kingdom living. Truly extravagant living. Living in God’s promises and blessings. So, what does Kingdom living look like?
God’s Kingdom is here and now. We do not need to wait until we get to heaven to experience the extravagant love and blessings that come from God the Father. Psalm 115:15-16 (ESV) says, May the Lord give you increase more and more, You and your children. May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV) says, God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. God can do more than we could possibly measure. That’s quite a promise. But notice that is according the His power that works in us. We need to be actively involved to live with the blessings of the Kingdom.
How do we enjoy kingdom-living now?
- Experience the Kingdom through prayer. When we pray, Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10 KJV), we are reaching into heaven to access kingdom benefits here on earth. Kingdom living starts by claiming His promises in faith.
- Embrace my inheritance. When we are saved, we are adopted into God’s family. We are loved. We are forgiven. He provides for our needs. He heals our sickness, He guides us. He protects us. His angels watch over us. We are blessed. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance (Psalm 16:6 ESV). Kingdom living accepts the inheritance and pushes out fear.
- Develop all the fruits of the spirit, not just peace but love, joy, patience, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) When we practice Kingdom living, we grow into the women of God we have been designed to be, actively practicing the fruits to the best of our abilities, and trusting God to do the rest.
- Access – (Ephesians 2:18) We have access to the power of God, the gifts of God, the love of God, and the wisdom of God. Kingdom living means relying on God rather than trying to do everything on our own. He gave us the Holy Spirit as a Guide. We walk in the power of God through faith, speaking His Word, claiming His promises, and trusting in what we do not yet see.
Kingdom- Living Responsibilities
Kingdom living also brings royal responsibilities; however, that should not weigh on us. Jesus said, His yoke is easy; his burden is light. (Matthew 11:30 NIV)
What are our Kingdom-Living responsibilities?
- We are warriors. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)
- We are servants. As servants of God, we commend ourselves in every way…in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left. (Ephesians 6:4, 6-7)
- We are messengers. Isaiah said, How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns! (Isaiah 52:7 NIV)
- Our kingdom calling is to be agents—sharing the good news and demonstrating the nature of God.[i] Jesus said, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. (Mark 16:15 NIV)
Kingdom-living as a 2023 word is all encompassing. It could be scary if I started placing expectations on myself to accomplish everything mentioned above. But God is emphasizing to me that living only in peace is lowering my expectations. God is so extravagant in everything He does. While we have Kingdom responsibilities, He doesn’t want us to forget all the blessings.
Peace is just one of them. He is a good Father, and He wants us to embrace all He has to offer us. So, as 2023 progresses, I will be doing my best to live life large! With God all things are possible.
If you are interessted in learning more about Kingdom-living, I recommend the The One Year Heaven on Earth Devotional by Chris Tiegreen and The Awakened Life by J. D. Walt.
[i] Tiegreen, C., & Walk Thru Ministries. (2016). The One Year Heaven on Earth Devotional. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.