Introductory Note:

Two great Christian thinkers and true witnesses to Kingdom living, Dallas Willard and Frank Laubach, write about the gospel in a way that emphasizes what often gets left out... The Kingdom life offered to us is a glorious present reality. It is interactive, communicative, transformative. It is “not something to be ‘accepted’ now and enjoyed later, but something to be entered now.” 

Renovaré Team

Excerpt from The Divine Conspiracy

The Kingdom Is Now at Hand” 

by Dallas Willard

Jesus came among us to show and teach the life for which we were made. He came very gently, opened access to the governance of God with him, and set afoot a conspiracy of freedom in truth among human beings. Having overcome death, he remains among us. By relying on his word and presence we are enabled to reintegrate the little realm that makes up our life into the infinite rule of God. And that is the eternal kind of life. Caught up in his active rule, our deeds become an element in God’s eternal history. They are what God and we do together, making us part of his life and him a part of ours.

Ultimate reality” — to speak grandly — permits itself to be addressed and dealt with through the Son of man, Jesus. Indeed, by taking the title Son of man, he staked his claim to be all that the human being was originally supposed to be — and surely much more. Colloquially we might describe him as humanity’s fair-haired boy,” the one who expresses its deepest nature and on whom its hopes rest. Older theologians soberly referred to him as the representative man” or the federal head” of humanity.

We have noted how he entered human history through the life of an ordinary family. But then, as God’s flash point in reigniting eternal life among us, he inducts us into the eternal kind of life that flows through himself. He does this first by bringing that life to bear upon our needs, and then by diffusing it throughout our deeds — deeds done with expectation that he and his Father will act with and in our actions.

Because of so much misunderstanding on this particular point, we must reemphasize that in speaking of the kingdom of the heavens being at hand,” Jesus was not speaking of something that was about to happen but had not yet happened and might not.

In the course of human events there are always plenty of things that are on the horizon of possibility but do not come about or that come about later. And there certainly is a dimension of still future realization of God’s rule. But the term eggiken—usually translated as is at hand” or has drawn nigh” in such passages as Matt. 3:2; 4:17; 10:7; Mark 1:15; and Luke 10:9, 11 — is a verb form indicating a past and completed action. It is best translated simply has come.”

The reality of God’s rule, and all of the instrumentalities it involves, is present in action and available with and through the person of Jesus. That is Jesus’ gospel. The obvious present reality of the kingdom is what provoked the responses we have just discussed. New Testament passages make plain that this kingdom is not something to be accepted” now and enjoyed later, but something to be entered now (Matt. 5:20; 18:3; John 3:3, 5). It is something that already has flesh-and-blood citizens (John 18:36; Phil. 3:20) who have been transformed into it (Col. 1:13) and are fellow workers in it (Col. 4:11).

The apostle Paul on one occasion describes it simply as righteousness and peace and joy” of a type that only occurs through the energizing of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17). That it is not of, or not derived from, this world or here” does not mean that it is not real or that it is not in this world (John 18:36). It is, as Jesus said, constantly in the midst of human life (Luke 17:21; cf. Deut. 7:21). Indeed, it means that it is more real and more present than any human arrangement could ever possibly be.

Only One Thing Now” and Undiscovered Continents of Spiritual Living” 

by Frank C. Laubach

January 291930

I feel simply carried along each hour, doing my part in a plan which is far beyond myself. This sense of cooperation with God in little things is what so astonishes me, for I never have felt it this way before. I need something, and turn round to find it waiting for me. I must work, to be sure, but there is God working along with me. 

To know this gives a sense of security and assurance for the future which is also new to my life. I seem to have to make sure of only one thing now, and every other thing takes care of itself,” or I prefer to say what is more true, God takes care of all the rest. My part is to live this hour in continuous inner conversation with God and in perfect responsiveness to his will. To make this hour gloriously rich. This seems to be all I need think about.

March 11930

The sense of being led by an unseen hand which takes mine while another hand reaches ahead and prepares the way, grows upon me daily. I do not need to strain at all to find opportunity. It plies in upon me as the waves roll over the beach, and yet there is time to do something about each opportunity.


And I must witness that people outside are treating me differently. Obstacles which I once would have regarded as insurmountable are melting away like a mirage. People are becoming friendly who suspected or neglected me. I feel, I feel like one who has had his violin out of tune with the orchestra and at last is in harmony with the music of the universe. 

As for me, I never lived, I was half dead, I was a rotting tree, until I reached the place where I wholly, with utter honesty, resolved and then re-resolved that I would find God’s will, and I would do that will though every fiber in me said no, and I would win the battle in my thoughts. It was as though some deep artesian well had been struck in my soul of souls and strength came forth. 

I do not claim success even for a day yet, in my mind, not complete success all day, but some days are close to success, and every day is tingling with the joy of a glorious discovery. That thing is eternal. That thing is undefeatable. You and I shall soon blow away from our bodies. Money, praise, poverty, opposition, these make no difference, for they will all alike be forgotten in a thousand years, but this spirit which comes to a mind set upon continuous surrender, this spirit is timeless life.

Willard, Dallas. The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering our Hidden Life in God. HarperOne: New York, 1997. Pages 27 – 28.

Laubach, Frank. Letters By a Modern Mystic. Martino Publishing: Mansfield Centre, CT, 2012. Pages 12 – 13.

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· Last Featured on September 2023