The Secret Kingdom

Every year thousands of wildflowers bloom and die on a mountainside unseen by human eyes. Countless galaxies swirl millions of light years away without a telescope to see them. Yet the sunrise continues to give itself every morning, the supernovae continue to explode and die with all their being, and in this way “the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1b). Every bud persistently blossoms and glorifies its maker, and He dresses them more beautifully than Solomon in all his splendour (Matthew 6:29). Even in the absence of validation, they do not cease to glorify God in truth. They do not need to say that they are true – they simply are. Even if nobody knows.

Sometimes we will do something for someone that can never be thanked. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t count. In fact, it may count more than anything, for “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’” (Matthew 25:40 NIV).

Sometimes – and probably most of the time – we will do work that will not be seen or acknowledged. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important to do. In fact we are told, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Colossians 3:23). Sometimes there is a good deed that no one will know about. But in His kingdom the Lord explicitly instructs to give in secret (Matthew 6:2-4), fast in secret (Matt 6:16-18), pray in secret (Matthew 6:5-6), and even warns; “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:1).

Sometimes the person who impresses the world’s standards is not the person God prefers and esteems; “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Sometimes a person’s beauty is not externally visible. But again in the secret kingdom of unseen, eternal things, it is even directly instructed, “Do not let your adorning be external […] but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (1 Peter 3:3-4 ESV).

Sometimes courage is choosing what is right even if it is not popular, celebrated, noticed. Even if it is misunderstood or attracts criticism, opposition or judgment, there is a conviction and integrity worth keeping for His name’s sake. We must live “not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart” (Ephesians 6:6 ESV).

There is a kingdom of stage and spectacle, fame and pedestals, glory, prestige and gloss. Deeds are applauded. Excellence is awarded. Visibility is fought for and cheered. Names become labels, engravings on plaques, self-profiled online and revered. But there is another place where things are unseen – less but somehow more. And as false varnish fades into something long gone, it rises as something eternal.

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” – Galatians 1:10

So can we be in the way we live. Perhaps no one sees. But God sees you. Perhaps it means nothing to the world. But in God’s sight it is very precious. And if He saw you when no one else could, and if He valued you before anyone else did, maybe you’re the wildflower that should dare to bloom, maybe you’re the star that should dare to burst, maybe the fall should be taken, the cost should be paid, the kindness extended, even if the recipient never knows or the crowd never sees. And perhaps if the only people to see the finest hour are you and God Almighty – well, perhaps that’s not such a bad audience.

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