“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.”
Oftentimes we repeat the words of the Lord’s Prayer without fully appreciating their meaning and application. However, the only way we can successfully be all that God designed for us to be is to live what Jesus prayed. And while the entire prayer is important and worthy of our careful and close attention, if we miss the point of the last line we have certainly missed what is arguably the most important point of the Bible. Whoever owns the Kingdom has the Power; and whoever has the Power gets the Glory. And God will not share His Glory with anyone! (Isaiah 42:8, 48:11)
This, then, is the crux of revealed Truth. The Kingdom is God’s, the Power is God’s, and the Glory is God’s. Anything or anyone that attempts to make any other assertion relative to these matters will ultimately be destroyed by God Himself.
Ask Lucifer. Or Pharaoh. Or Nebuchadnezzar.
It is the nature of mankind to desire kingdoms, with their attendant power and glory, for man is created in the image of God. And it would indeed be difficult to understand the history of our world–much less grasp the significance of current events on a worldwide level–without understanding the various kingdoms and empires that have been established by men through the ages of time. All this has happened, we understand, by divine ordination. For there is no power but of God, and the powers that be are ordained of God. (Romans 13:1) But it is clear that, ultimately, all power and dominion belong to our Lord. For it is written: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)
When our Master was tempted by the devil, he was taken up into an exceeding high mountain and shown “all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.” The devil’s bargain? “All these will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.“ Would to God that we could learn to resist the devil as effectively as did our Savior: “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” (Matthew 4:8-11) Our Lord’s response clearly teaches us that what we worship we will eventually serve!
We, brethren, are stewards of the mysteries of the Kingdom. (I Corinthians 4:1, Matt. 13:11) Let us be content to fill up our measure and serve to the best of our ability in the capacity to which we have been divinely appointed. But let us never become abusive of our right in the gospel. When we preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, it must be with Power, followed by the Glory. But we must never make the mistake of building up a Kingdom for ourselves, so that we might exercise power and receive the glory. We would be wise to well consider the admonition of our Lord: “… The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.” (Luke 22:25-26)
It would be a great tragedy if we worked to build any kingdom other than Christ’s. Our labor would be entirely in vain. Our churches must not become “island kingdoms”–where we are so autonomous and independent that we do not understand our great need of one another and our interdependence upon one another. Our great struggle must not be for the survival of an organization, but for the survival of an organism–the living, breathing, growing Body of Christ.
Rev. Tim D. Cormier
Reprinted from the September, 1999 issue of the Apostolic Standard.
(C) Copyright held by Tim D. Cormier. This document may not be reproduced in whole or in part, except for personal use, without the express written permission of the author.