But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33, KJV
While Disneyland calls its playground "The Enchanted Kingdom," there is another kingdom, one which I think of as "The Invisible Kingdom." Jesus referred to it as "the Kingdom of God." It's an invisible kingdom with no boundaries, no police force, no border control, and no laws except the law of love. But wherever you find God's people, you will find evidence of this invisible kingdom in the lives of its subjects.
When the Pharisees baited Jesus, trying to accuse Him of insurrection and sedition, Jesus told them, "The kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21); hence, an invisible kingdom.
Theologians think of the kingdom of God as the progressive rule and reign of God, first in the hearts of men and women, and eventually in our world when Christ returns to rule and reign. But that's in the future, and we're living in the present.
Jesus told the disciples that they were to earnestly seek this kingdom, and the word He used is an interesting one. In His day, there were two Greek words that are translated in English “to seek or pursue something with intensity.” One word was used--say of an athlete, who desperately wanted to join the Olympic team, or a young woman who wanted to be admitted to the university, or a businessman who had set goals for his company and badly wanted to reach them.
The other word was used of a search for something that at one time you possessed but for whatever reason you had lost and badly wanted to regain. That was the word the writer used to tell us what Jesus said. Was this a subtle reminder that God had created us for fellowship, for intimacy with Himself – but with the passing of time we had turned our back on Him and gone our own way? Perhaps. Isaiah reminded us that "we all, like sheep, have gone astray" (Isaiah 53:6).
Obviously, there can be no kingdom--visible, invisible, or a geographic reality--unless there is a king, unless there is royalty. That's the difference between a republic and a kingdom. We speak of China as "The People's Republic of China," but we think of Great Britain as a kingdom because for some eight hundred years there has been a Monarchy.
But the kingdom of which Jesus spoke was obviously God's kingdom, a literal one which He had left to come to earth some thirty years before. When He was born, Jesus left behind his robes of splendor and His position at the right hand of the Father to identify with our world. He hungered so He could understand your hunger. He faced periods of loneliness so He could understand your estrangement. He identified with our pain and suffering. He's been where you are, tried and tempted just as you are.
Ah, but what of that kingdom He spoke of? Paul said that eventually God would again send His Son to establish His kingdom on earth. He told Timothy "to keep this commandment without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time--God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever" (1 Timothy 6:14-16).
But meanwhile God rules and reigns in the hearts of His subjects--men and women in every nation of the world--who acknowledge the sovereign God who sent His son to our world to redeem us and to bring us back into the family of God.
His kingdom may be invisible, but it's powerful. It's the salt and light which keeps the residents of this old earth from destroying each other completely.
Resource reading: Isaiah 53:1-12