Safe in the kingdom of God
A Christian Science perspective: Prayer that acknowledges our place in God’s kingdom brings comfort and protection.
The current age can seem filled with difficulty and uncertainty of all kinds. But consider the first century of the Common Era; it certainly had its challenges, too. Yet Christ Jesus was never insecure, or lacking anything, and he overcame various threats and dangers, finding protection from harm. He calmed stormy seas, for instance (see Mark 4:37-39) and passed safely through crowds intent on harming him (see Luke 4:28-31).
It’s clear that Jesus lived what he taught when he said, “Behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). Despite what went on around him, Christ Jesus knew the spiritual reality, that he always dwelt in the kingdom of God; that God, who is good, governs all His creation, including man and woman made in His spiritual likeness (see Genesis 1:26, 27). And he taught that his followers could prove these things, as he did.
As God’s creation, living in His kingdom, we are subject to Him and to nothing else. One definition of “subject” is “one who lives in the territory of, enjoys the protection of, and owes allegiance to a sovereign power....” This helps me better understand that living in the kingdom of God means we are protected by God. We experience this protection in proportion as we grasp something of the spiritual fact that God is the sovereign power that guides and governs all. The recognition that man lives in the kingdom of God, Spirit, frees us from fear, anxiety, and discouragement, and brings safety. In the textbook of Christian Science, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” by Mary Baker Eddy, we read, “The history of Christianity furnishes sublime proofs of the supporting influence and protecting power bestowed on man by his heavenly Father, omnipotent Mind, who gives man faith and understanding whereby to defend himself, not only from temptation, but from bodily suffering” (p. 387).
This guiding and protecting power is always available to us. Even in challenging situations, when we see that spiritually we are always in God’s kingdom and therefore always safe, we not only feel that we are safe, but also experience that safety. Jesus’ disciple Peter proved this when he was imprisoned for his beliefs, and walked out of his jail safely as a result of the prayers given for him (see Acts 12:5-10). The Christian Science periodicals are filled with inspiring examples of God’s protection in all kinds of circumstances – including natural disasters, disease, and war.
A Christian Science Sentinel from last year includes an account of a woman who prayed with the 91st Psalm during hurricane Sandy. Her first floor never flooded, and there was only minimal damage, despite the fact that her home had been surrounded by water (see “Praying through the night – with Psalm 91,” Nov. 16, 2015). Another Sentinel includes an article that recounts the author’s protection while traveling in a country that was experiencing great violence. He prayed daily and listened for God’s direction, avoiding bombs that exploded in several places he had just been or had been intuitively led not to go. Neither he nor anyone else was harmed (see “De-escalating Violence,” Dec. 29, 2014).
In a small way, I too have felt God’s protecting power. There was a period when I felt particularly nervous while driving. As I prayed about this, I came to recognize God as the only real power, and to see that He holds each of us in His care. A better understanding of these truths freed me from this fear. Now I can feel at peace when I drive, acknowledging God’s power and omnipresence, and I have also experienced protection from danger while on the road.
God, divine Love, affords each of us this love and protection. We truly live in the kingdom of God, the source of intelligence and love that never fails. Peace is the reality of being. At every moment, we can turn to God and acknowledge the spiritual fact that we are all guided and governed by Him. This brings comfort and safety.