The Message of the Kingdom
The author is still working with worry themes from the Sermon on the Mount. In the Sermon, he observes that seeking the kingdom is the antidote to worry. In this chapter then, he attempts to explain how seeking the kingdom combats fear.
Welch insists that with the arrival of Jesus the King, the kingdom is present. This kingdom is essentially God’s reign in the spiritual realm, right here and right now, where Jesus’ will is done. It is more real than the physical realm, but may seem elusive.
Any one of us can participate in this kingdom in a growing, expanding, progressive way as we submit to the rule of God in our lives. This spiritual kingdom is one in conflict, however. For that reason, while we enjoy the blessings of God’s kingdom, we also find ourselves engaged with Satan in battle.
Within this battle, worries are a way that we doubt the King’s presence and power. By contrast, the essence of faith . . . is that we choose sides: in whom do we trust? (p.120).
The expectation of the Christian should not be a dramatic elimination of all fear and worry, but small steps of faith. As this experience of the kingdom grows, so will our sense of security and peace.
My own journey
I believe that Welch’s explanation of the kingdom concept is oversimplified from a theological standpoint. However, I would concur with the application he derives from it for our present age.
The battle to overcome fear and worry must be fought on the spiritual plane. The tangible evidences of health and prosperity will never be substantial enough to banish fear.
Understanding my life within the larger context of God’s kingdom enables me to face the dangers of life from the perspective of ultimate victory.