Encounter, Alignment, Assignment: will you Join the King?
In C.S. Lewis’ children’s book, ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’, there is a change taking place in the landscape. The lion King Aslan has returned to Narnia and is steadily making his way through the land.
For a long time, Narnia has been under the rule of an evil witch, who has placed the land under a spell so that it is ‘always winter.’ But now, there are signs and stirrings of a higher power, a greater Kingdom at work.
Ice is melting, and spring flowers and bulbs are appearing. Not only is the landscape changing, there is new hope amongst the inhabitants—because where the King walks, the power of darkness is broken.
Suddenly, there are rumours going out: ‘Aslan is on the move!’ And Aslan’s followers are gathering to follow their King.
It is a vivid picture, and one that illustrates the Kingdom of God becoming manifest.
- So, what does the Kingdom of God invading the darkness look like in your family life, your work or ministry life?
- What could this look like in your region: your places of education, government, business, your own neighbourhood?
Imagine people who have been spiritually frozen, their hearts hard and disinterested, now warming up and melting. People who are encountering the King and His Kingdom and as a result, they can no longer ignore the reality of God and His love for them.
It’s time to catch a vision. It’s time to start announcing that God is here, that the King and His Kingdom are here. It’s time to wake up to the fact that we can participate in what He is doing and no longer have to put up with the status quo. Because Jesus is here, and He is on the move.
It’s time to draw near to Jesus, to become intimately acquainted with the King, to align ourselves with Him and His cause.
And there is still more.
As the story of Narnia unfolds, Aslan’s followers are now confronted with the next phase of their decision to follow the King. It is time for battle—to take up arms and to fight, so that the rightful King can take his place on the throne. 
Kingdom Encounter, Alignment and Assignment
There are three levels of Kingdom engagement—ways in which we participate with King Jesus and His Kingdom, that are portrayed so well in C.S. Lewis’ story. These levels are Encounter, Alignment and Assignment.
1. Kingdom Encounter
“The time has come… The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15)
An encounter implies a confrontation, coming face to face with someone or something. It may be an unexpected meeting.
Kingdom encounter takes place when people are confronted with the reality of Jesus, His Kingship, and the rule of God. They see the evidence first hand, through Divine interventions that can only be explained by the power of God. They also have the opportunity to hear the Gospel message.
In the Gospels, Jesus went about exercising authority over disease and demons, as well as over the laws of nature. In His lavish demonstration of Father’s love for people, Jesus showed us that the ministry of encounter is for every person. Encounter is the calling card of the Kingdom, saying ‘The King is here and you are invited to believe and join Him.’
2. Kingdom Alignment
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
Alignment speaks of arranging and positioning according to a standard. Kingdom Alignment takes place as we choose to follow Jesus and become His disciples. It speaks of submitting to the King’s rule in our lives.
As we see so vividly in the Gospels, not everyone who encounters Jesus and experiences His power chooses to take the next step to believe in and follow Him.
Alignment is not a one-off decision, it consists of ongoing life transformation. As we journey, we have the opportunity to continue calibrating our lives to God’s Word and His ways. The Father’s goal is that we become like Jesus. (Rom 8:29) Our motivation is not one of religious performance, but arises from our love for Jesus, our honour for Him, and is our heart’s response to His grace.
Alignment also speaks of positioning for Father’s purpose for our lives.
3. Kingdom Assignment
‘Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”’ (John 20:21-22)
Assignment speaks of being given a role and a task to accomplish. Kingdom Assignment is our opportunity to participate with Jesus in the extension of His Kingdom. As royal sons and daughters, we exercise His authority in His Name. (Acts 3:16)
We are on the King’s business, and as representatives of Jesus, we become agents of ‘Kingdom Encounter’ for others.
We each have a unique assignment, a purpose and God-given destiny to make a difference in this world. (Eph 2:10) Each one of us has the opportunity to fulfil our potential and the call of God upon our lives—but sadly, not not everyone will.
The reality is that Kingdom culture is alien to the worldly culture in which we live. That Jesus is King implies authority and obedience. It requires something of us. It confronts our independence and waywardness. Jesus’ Kingship calls for us to recognise and step into our own royal heritage as sons and daughters of God.
1. C.S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, 1950. C.S Lewis once wrote: ‘The Narnian books are not as much allegory as supposal. “Suppose there were a Narnian world and it, like ours, needed redemption. What kind of incarnation and Passion might Christ be supposed to undergo there?” see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lion,_the_Witch_and_the_Wardrobe
Has this article spoken to you, or do you have some thoughts on Kingdom Encounter, Alignment and Assignment? Leave a comment in the comments box
© 2014 Helen Calder – Enliven Ministries
in the David McCracken Ministries family