By Brent Russett
Originally written for the Keenager Newsletter – September 2020
Every kingdom is born to die. The Portuguese reigned in the 15th century, the Spanish in the 16th century, the Dutch in the 17th and the French in the 18th century. Britain dominated the 19th century until it was left almost bankrupt by the Great War. Its empire reached its peek in 1935, when measured by geography. It then passed the torch into the hands of the United States.
But every kingdom is born to die. We are now witnessing the decline of the USA and the ascendancy of China. While America has been pouring its money into its military, the Chinese have been pouring their money into infrastructure. Here is a fun fact, China pours more cement every three years than the U.S. did in the entire 20th century. We can mourn, or cast blame, or get angry over the decline of the States, but we can see it happening before our eyes. It is following the way of empires before it.
This will affect Canada in unknown ways. When one’s closet friend, largest trading partner, biggest influencer of culture and most accessed travel destination goes into decline it can’t help but affect us. It will affect us culturally and economically and psychologically. Most of us cannot remember a time when the U.S. was not dominant, and Canada was its kinder and gentler little bother.
I have no intention of being political in this article, but I believe it is important to note the change because we are in a period of time marked with uncertainty. Covid-19 has intensified the uncertainty, and sped up the change, and highlighted the cracks of North American culture. Even if a vaccine was discovered tomorrow, there is no going back to 2019.
Every kingdom is born to die. Every kingdom, except one. The kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is where God’s will is being carried out. You will see the kingdom of God in individual lives, and in some families, and in some churches, and in many different pockets of our communities. Jesus ushered in the kingdom of God and it has stood the test of time. The collapse of the Roman empire could not kill it. The ascendency and fall of different empires over the years could not thwart the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God cannot be found on a map. It often flies under the radar and operates in stealth mode. Jesus says, it starts like a very small seed, and grows into a big tree. (Mat. 13:31-32) It is like a little amount of yeast, but it has a way of affecting all of life. (Mat. 13:33) Jesus taught us that God’s way is that we seek the kingdom of God first and he will take care of the things we need. (Mat. 6:33)
Seeking the kingdom of God means searching for places where God is at work. Look for places where he is fixing up broken lives, and healing hurts, and helping people walk into freedom, and helping them to display God’s beauty. When you see those kinds of places get on board with those things. Co-operate with God in those things. You will see some of those things in your own life. Co-operate with God. You will see some of those things in the people and happenings around you.
We live in an uncertain time and in an uncertain world. But God is near. He is at work. Kingdoms will come and kingdoms will go, but God doesn’t change. Pray that you will be able to see what he is doing around you then get on board with him.