Citizens of an Everlasting Kingdom
Friday, January 24, 2020
Devotional for Day 5
"I saw in the night visions,
and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.
— Daniel 7:13-14
You signed up for this fast because you have a heart for God’s glory in our nation. Like you, I am fasting these ten days because my soul longs for America to return to God. I want to see millions of my fellow citizens discover the pearl of great price and the name of Jesus lifted high above all names. We yearn for God’s righteousness to guide our government, our schools, our media, our entertainment, and on and on. Our spirits faint within us when we see the degrading effects of the decline of Christian influence on our society. Have mercy on us, O Lord!
If we feel the pain of living in a secular society, Daniel must have felt it more. Daniel lived in the midst of a completely pagan culture with very few people around him who shared his faith and his values. But God gave Daniel a dream to let him know that godless nations would not always reign. A time would come when all the kingdoms of the world would be under the rule of “one like a son of man” (Daniel 7:13). This son of man in Daniel’s dream is none other than Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Jesus Himself was constantly pointing to the vision of Daniel 7. Jesus’ favorite title for Himself was “Son of Man,” used over 80 times in the four gospels. And Jesus’ favorite subject to talk about was “the Kingdom of God.” Jesus is the Son of Man in Daniel 7 and He did receive a kingdom from God – the Kingdom that displaces every other earthly kingdom and sustains a rule that never ends.
Truly, truly, we are not citizens of the United States of America; “our citizenship is from heaven” (Philippians 4:20). We are part of Christ’s kingdom; and more than mere citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, we are ambassadors for His Kingdom. Therefore, we do not pray and fast for America as if our destiny is tied to the destiny of our nation. No, our destiny is already determined. Our Kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36).
Jesus’ Kingdom is not yet a visible one on this earth, but it will be one day very soon. We fast and intercede so that as many Americans as possible will be a glad citizen in Christ’s Kingdom instead of a defeated enemy on that day.
King Jesus, all honor, glory, and power is Yours now and forevermore. Hear our prayers, see our fasting, and have mercy on the people who live in this country. Save the lost just as you did when we were far away from You. Magnify Your mercy and glorify You grace in our land. For Your glory and in Your name we ask, amen.
Chuck Hetzler, Ph.D.
Lead Pastor, Bethesda Grace Church, Manhattan, NY
Senior Associate, Christian Union Day and Night