Every decision we make — the values we hold, how we view the world and our place in it, how we treat others, the way we manage our time, money and resources, and the endeavors we pursue — is a direct result of the kingdom to which we belong.
There are two kingdoms to choose from: one’s own kingdom or The Kingdom.
If we choose to spend our lives building and growing our own little kingdoms, we will discover no greater frustration, angst, heartbreak, disappointment, futility and ultimate emptiness. On the contrary, if we choose to spend our lives building and growing The Kingdom – that is, the Kingdom of God, the only Kingdom that will stand when all is said and done – we will discover no greater joy, fulfillment, beauty, wonder, purpose, peace and ultimate satisfaction.
The choice is entirely our own.
Regardless of which choice we make, however, the undeniable truth is that we were created to be mirrors. Tiny reflections of the glory of Almighty God, so that when people look at us, they see the image of God reflected back to them. As cliché as this sounds, it’s all about Him. He’s the center of attention – the attention of every universe and galaxy and living thing – and all hype, glory and adoration belongs to Him and Him alone. It is only by functioning within this system that things will ever be right and whole and good.
The problems in our lives begin to arise when we turn the mirror around to face ourselves, to reflect our own glory and our own image. Almighty God is the only One who can bear the weight of all glory, of all eyes on Him. He’s the only One who can manage such fame and attention, because He is the only One who is truly worthy of such fame and attention. When we revel in glory for ourselves, every aspect of our lives falls apart and is thrown off balance. When we begin to think we are the center of some kind of universe or that anything actually revolves around us, our perspective towards everything becomes warped and twisted. The glory of man is the downfall of all that God created to be good and perfect in the world. But the glory of God keeps the universe – and every detail of our lives – in perfect balance and in glorious harmony.
This album is entitled Your Kingdom Come, named for the title track Kingdom Come, a song that was inspired by Matthew 6, a passage of Scripture that is well-known by both believers and non-believers alike, also known as The Lord’s Prayer:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.”
Such a simple prayer, yet if lived out to the fullest measure, can totally and completely alter the course of our lives. For the better.
Every song on this album tells One Story about One Kingdom. The Story that began when God breathed earth and sky, land and sea, creature and humanity into existence; the Story that will never end, as all of creation sings the praise of its Creator for all eternity to come; and the story of everything that happens in between.
Songs like You Deserve, He Is Good To Us, Passion of our Hearts, and Overwhelmed remind us that despite our fears or sorrows, He is good, always, and thus we should sing His praise without end.
Power of the Cross, Love of Christ, Hallelujah to the King, We Bless Your Name and From Heaven’s Glory tell the Gospel story, reminding us how the sinless God, out of His great love for us, died for the sins of all mankind, conquered death and now reigns sovereign over all, pleading on our behalf, until the day He will finally complete His redemption plan.
Open Hands is a prayer of surrender, acknowledging that God is sovereign and in control of our lives, and because of that truth, we can offer every hope, dream, gift and ambition we hold dear back to Him with open hands, trusting Him to do His will in us.
Sound of Heaven and Church Arise are outbursts of worship, calling God’s people to rise up and shake the world with the sound of our worship.
And lastly of course, Kingdom Come is our declaration as His Church that it’s truly all about Him.
“Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!”
Shelly E. Johnson is an exclusive LifeWay Worship songwriter and serves as worship leader at First Baptist Church, Woodstock, GA. Visit her official website at www.shellyejohnson.com. Her new project, Your Kingdom Come, releases today at iTunes.