Reviewed by Dale Lewis
A Kingdom Called Desire by Rick McKinley
"Deeply practical and formational, A Kingdom Called Desire, will help the reader begin to find healing and redemption in their unmet desires."
According to my senior pastor,
learning to understand sin, appreciate grace and thus knowing the purpose
of our mission is the overall theme
in his current sermon series entitled, “Jonah: The God of Grace.”
Central to living in the Kingdom of God is living out of a place of authentic desire. This is the thesis of Pastor Rick McKinley’s newest book, A Kingdom Called Desire.
I believe these two statements intersect or link at the point of authenticity. We are not Kingdom residents until we come face-to-face with God’s gift of grace and freely receive the gift without hanging on to a false sense of duty as a requirement.
In McKinley’s own words, “Duty as a response to love is powerful. Duty as an attempt to earn God’s love is destructive. Don’t confuse the two!” He continues, “The problem shows up when we drift from chasing Christ out of attraction and desire and attempt to show Christ that we are worthy of the love of God.”
Deeply practical and formational, A Kingdom Called Desire, will help the reader begin to find healing and redemption in their unmet desires. You’ll begin to understand how following Jesus is shaped by your innermost desires.
Written from a pastoral heart, McKinley longs for Christ-followers to experience the freedom of living honestly before God. He states, “We pursue lesser things, desire lesser things and love lesser things because we ultimately love ourselves and not God.”
In the chapter, “Kingdom Identity,” he pulls no punches with the church by confronting and exhorting the dysfunctional people who make up Christ’s bride. People often see church as a product to be consumed and not a community of flawed folks becoming and living like Christ. His words are direct, “The church is His idea, not ours. Jesus tells us we are the church and through us the kingdom of heaven is going to be displayed. So quit bitching about it and start being it. You’re embarrassing Jesus.” He then follows up with how desire relates to his discussion of the church.
At the end of each chapter, formation questions give the reader incentive to continue pondering what has just been revealed.
This was a difficult book to read because although it encouraged me and made me reflect on his thoughts, it also created some uncomfortable moments as I wrestled with my own desires and how they fit into Kingdom living. I need to remember that “Jesus didn’t come to remodel my life. He came to be my life.”