The Kingdom of God is within You - The Warrior's Journey®

The Kingdom of God is within You

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

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“The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed,nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you (or, within you).” (Luke 17:20-21) 

Oak trees are not only known for their immense strength and hardiness. They are also known for retaining most of their leaves throughout fall and winter. That’s right. Through all the snow, freezing rain, and fierce gales of winter, clusters of dry, brown leaves cling tenaciously to the branches of the oak. Then, in the spring, something miraculous takes place on the inside of every oak tree. Life begins to flow within and tiny buds emerge on every twig. And those dry, ragged leaves that once stubbornly clung to the tree simply drop off. What all the external forces of nature could not achieve in removing those ugly leaves, the living force within accomplished. 

This illustrates how a Christian believer’s life is outwardly transformed by the grace of God. When the gospel is preached, faith arises in the heart of the listener. He or she believes in Jesus and embraces Him by faith.  God responds by inwardly cleansing the person from sin and transforming their heart (2 Corinthians 5:17). Their heart, born again into the image of Jesus, now hungers for God and yearns to do God’s will (Romans 8:14). And all those sinful practices – which all the external forces of religion and morality failed to remove – begin to fall away as the Spirit of God performs His work in their hearts.   

In reality, the Kingdom of God has penetrated their hearts. Christ has begun His reign in their very souls. This is why Jesus told us that, in His first appearance, the Kingdom of God was not coming with the outward signs. It would first make its entrance within the hearts of believing human beings. Before Christ could sit upon an earthly throne He had to first begin His reign in human hearts by conquering sin’s power there. When sinners trust in Jesus for salvation, God’s Spirit regenerates their hearts and sets them free from sin. Only then can Christ set up His throne within them. 

That God’s Kingdom came to earth with the advent of Jesus Christ is indisputable. Jesus declared, “If I, by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matthew 12:28; Luke 11:20). But God’s reign begins in the hearts of those who make Him king of their lives. Society will only be transformed through the Gospel. But that transformation must come from the inside out (Matthew 13:33). 


  • Do you yearn for world peace and the reign of justice and truth? 
  • If every form of government and every human endeavor have failed to bring them about, could it be that evil originates in our own hearts, from our sinful nature? 
  • Transformation must begin in our hearts by inviting Christ to reign within us. Only Jesus can conquer sin’s power within us, set us free, and change our lives.

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