This week we continued our Kingdom Is… series by hearing from a six person panel of Grow Church’s up and coming communicators. Each one was given the opportunity to express what their view of the Kingdom of God is in a short, yet powerful six minutes. As Joe Negron, Daniel Barel, Alexa Boyd, Evan Forbus, Christopher Clements and Ana Forbus raced to individually beat the buzzer, they collectively painted a beautiful picture of how the Kingdom of God is royalty, a fortress, unexpected, unlocked, heroic and yours for the taking.
Joe Negron opened up the panel by unraveling how the Kingdom of God provides us with a royal status. He discussed how we, as God’s children, have been adopted into a royal family and the importance of shifting our minds from an orphan mentality to a royal one. Joe used both Proverbs 23:7 and Matthew 6:33 to illustrate that we must align our thoughts to what God says about us by seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness through spending time in prayer and God’s word.
Daniel Barel continued by looking at the Kingdom of God as a fortress which cannot be overcome by the works of the devil. Through Matthew 16:18, Daniel revealed how God promised as we take refuge in Him, the gates of Hell cannot overcome the hope and future God has for our lives. He discussed how as we take a stand in our identity, seek prayer and support by being vulnerable with our community and put our trust solely in the victory of Jesus Christ we can live protected within God’s undefeated and unshakeable Kingdom.
Alexa Boyd finished the first half of the panel by taking Grow Church through the unexpected twists and turns of Joseph’s life. She challenged us to embrace the unexpected moments of our lives, because it is in the midst of our undesired circumstances that God often times looks to mold and strengthen us for the glory of which He wants to use us. Alexa encouraged us to persevere through our hardship, trust the Lord’s plan and give glory to God, as she revealed God’s heart to turn everything around for the good of those who love Him.
Evan Forbus gave us keys to accessing the fullness of God’s unlocked Kingdom. He described how God’s given us everything through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, yet exposes how we have the tendency to live our lives as if we’ll always remain outside the palace, separated from all God’s given us. He examined the training King David received as he remained in the pastures as a shepherd boy, even after he was anointed and called to be king. Evan encouraged us to focus on what we’ve been given and what God is preparing for us by embracing the training we need for our next step into glory, seeing that our next season is dependent on what we do in this one.
Christopher Clements gave a message full of power as he unveiled how God created all of us with a specific purpose and plan – a plan to be heroes in a broken world, as we operate our of our identity as unusual people doing unusual things through the power of the Holy Spirit. Christopher unraveled how many times we look the success of those around us and strive to be just like them, even though God knit us together with a very specific purpose in mind. He inspired us to discover the gifts and talents God uniquely gave us, while relying on God as our power source to use them in the fullness of God’s purpose. Christopher reminded us we live heroic lives not simply because we have the power of God inside us, but rather because we make the choice to use it for His glory.
Ana Forbus concluded the Kingdom Is… panel by reminding us that everything the Kingdom of God is, is ours for the taking. She encouraged us to see ourselves as a part of God’s family and understand that because we are God’s sons and daughters, we are His heirs; and as God’s heirs we have an inheritance full of peace, power, freedom, security, abundance and life. Ana described how we fall into feeling disqualified and separated from all of God’s promises and presence because of mistakes we’ve made and the deception of the enemy. She encouraged us to take our stance in our identity and stand firm in our position as heirs to God’s kingdom in order to combat the lies of the enemy, while confidently claiming all that God has for us.
- What may cause you to feel have an orphan mentality? How have your thought patterns influenced how you live your life? What steps can you make to put aside time and daily seek God’s Kingdom and righteousness before anything else?
- How can feeling defeated in the middle of your situations and circumstances limit you from experienced all God has for your lives? How can affirming your identity in Christ, being vulnerable with those around you and putting your trust fully in Christ help you stand with confidence, knowing God will always overcome?
- What may cause you to lose the desire to glorify God when unexpected situations unravel in your life? How can you press into your relationship with God as you persevere and trust in the Lord during the unexpected seasons and moments of life?
- What things can you do to shift your perspective to see this season of your life as the training ground for the next? How can embracing the training God has you in help propel you into your next season? What steps can you make to see God manifest Himself in your present situation, knowing all of God’s Kingdom is unlocked for your present circumstances?
- What specific passions, talents and gifts has God given you? How can you use those gifts and talents to influence the lives around you? What can you do to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit, rather than your own as you look to change the world with your gifts and talents?
- What causes you to feel disqualified of the call God has on your life? How have these feelings of disqualification limited you from fulfilling your purpose? In the moments when you feel disqualified what can you do to remind yourself of your identity and assert your position as God’s heirs of His Kingdom?
Praise God for calling you into His eternal Kingdom. Thank Him for giving you the keys to the Kingdom through His Son Jesus. Ask God to reveal any barriers that might be hindering you from seeing yourself as royalty, conquers in Christ, powerful heroes designed for His purpose and/or heirs to all that He is. Pray for the strength and power to embrace the unexpected circumstances and seasons of your life, as well as the wisdom regarding what God wants to do in and through you amidst those circumstances. Thank God for guiding your steps as you look to follow Him wherever He leads you. Praise God for giving you the resources you need to fulfill the plan He has for your life – a plan of glory and honor. Thank God for the anointing to see Him manifested in all you do.
Encourage your group members to constantly see themselves a child in God’s royal family. As your group members discuss what may be holding them back from experiencing the fullness of God’s Kingdom, help lead them to Scripture that asserts their position and identity in Christ. Help your group members find practical ways they can spend time with God throughout their day that releases them from the burden of obligation. Encourage you group members to ask God for more of the Holy Spirit, as it is by His strength and power that we are able to do all God has called us to do in His Kingdom, here on earth.