STREAMS OF IMPACT
Water is recognized as the most powerful element on earth. It covers most of the earth and accounts for the majority of what’s inside us. In one sense, water is life. Given how essential it is, no one questions their need for it, its purposes, or its many forms. Why don’t we question our need for water…? Because, it speaks for itself. The cool satisfaction of thirst quenched in the heat, the crisp crunch of walking through a fresh snow, and the smell of summer rain do all the talking.
Kingdom impact is just like water…and it starts with you and me. Just like a flowing stream shapes rocks over time, the Kingdom is meant to flow through believers and shape our hearts. God consistently uses family, teachers, and friends to influence and shape us. Yet, often times the streams of impact God uses to shape us become rushing rivers moving too quickly to swim against. When mistakes, accidents, and bad decisions occur, it can begin to feel like we are swimming upstream. Other times, the streams become storms and all we can do is hold tight to our faith. In God’s perfect wisdom, our world is not exempt from devastation, disaster, and death. In fact, the Washington Post reported that in 2017, $265 billion dollars of damage came from hurricanes. That’s the toll powerful water can produce.
ELEMENTS OF IMPACT
So what does this have to do with Discovering the Kingdom?
The first element of Kingdom Impact is recognition. Take a moment to reflect on how you understand the Kingdom, what you believe about it, and where you have seen evidence of it. Then consider if you have ever recognized the Kingdom separate from power.
The second element of Kingdom Impact is representation. God has called believers to serve as governmental ambassadors no matter what alliance, business, or church we’re part of. As we discover the Kingdom and begin to recognize God’s intended impact, representing His cause follows.
The third element of Kingdom Impact is relationship. Kingdom relationships are the practical, present evidence of our eternal family. Not only that, the relationship element of impact is what carries God’s power. The scriptures say, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).
If recognizing the Kingdom, representing it, and working together with others of a like-mind promises the presence of Christ, I’m all in…for there is nothing more impactful than the presence of God.
Paul writes these words to the church in Corinth, “ For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power” (1 Corinthians 4:20). From his words, we can gather that making a real impact means stewarding power, not just talking about it. While stewarding power takes intentionality and training, stewarding Kingdom power takes Christ.
I grew up playing competitive sports. In that, part of my training was to practice every day (sometimes on my own, with a few others, or the whole team). No matter what my daily practice looked like, I would always think about what my coach told us. He would wisely tell us (especially when we didn’t feel like practicing) that practice does not make perfect…practice makes permanent.
No matter where you are in your relationship with God, start practicing! Whether you’re on your own, with a few friends, a home group, or a group of colleagues, start practicing Kingdom recognition. As you grow in this area, step into representation and eventually relationship. I am confident that you will see God’s impact at every step.
Remember…”You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water” (Rabindranath Tagore). It’s time to get our feet wet!