Those devoted to God find joy in sharing insights. In conversation, Charles Wilson shared an insight that blessed me. May it also bless you.

Students of the Bible are familiar with the "two kingdom" concept. In our world the powerful forces of God and Satan are in conflict. God has His kingdom, and Satan has his. Each person's life advances the purposes of God or the purposes of Satan.

The kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan are not merely in conflict. The purposes of God and the purposes of Satan are in total conflict. The Bible always contrasts God and Satan's purposes. It is the conflict between good and evil, light and darkness, life and death, or that which is eternal and that which decays.

Within us, this conflict is not resolved by affirming "whose side you are on." At its heart, the conflict concerns purpose. Purpose is the central issue of life. What is the purpose of my life? my actions? my motives? my objectives? my goals? Do my purposes yield to God's purposes or to Satan's purposes? Does God or Satan define and determine my purposes?

Charles Wilson's insight: the Bible speaks of two kingdoms, not three. There is not God's kingdom, Satan's kingdom, and a neutral kingdom. Committing to a third kingdom is not an option. It is impossible for "my" life to benefit neither God's kingdom nor Satan's kingdom.

Charles did not apply this insight to others. He said each Christian needs to apply it to self. Everything that occurs in my life benefits either the purposes of God or the purposes of Satan. Nothing that occurs in my life benefits neither God nor Satan.

As important as actions and deeds are, they are surface considerations. Spiritual maturity examines in depth my motives, intents, thoughts, desires, and emotions.

God and Satan are at war over spiritual purposes. Everything that occurs in my mind, my heart, and my deeds endorses the purposes of one or the other. Growing to godly maturity is more than labeling actions as good and evil and culling them accordingly.

Spiritual maturity is based on a mind that belongs to Christ and a heart that belongs to God. That mind and heart are devoted to God's purposes--always. The real question always is, "Who benefits, God or Satan?"

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 16 May 1999

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