Human societies are run by institutions – governmental, educational, financial, and religious institutions; and the list goes on and on. While human civilizations are largely institutionalized, by contrast Heaven is not.
Have you ever pictured the Trinity as a hierarchy? I know I have. We tend to think in these lines since this is what we are familiar with; and so we have trouble understanding how God operates. While God is everywhere and knows everything and potentially could run and rule every tiny little detail of His creation, He refrains from doing so. It’s very characteristic of God to delegate. A prominent example: His hands-off approach with planet Earth. He gave humans this planet as an assignment and made them chief administrators (Genesis 1:28):
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
It’s important to note that members of God’s kingdom see themselves as caretakers of this planet, not as owners. This attitude is entirely different from the common approach and rules out a seedbed of many wars and conflicts: human greed.
Church as an institution seems to be a rather poor reflection of God’s kingdom, reason being, today’s church is not a unit but more of a contradicting puzzle. I believe that church is not meant to be an institution but primarily a body of believers focused on loving God and people. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul is asking his Greek friends to avoid division and to be of one mind in thought and purpose; living by this code will indeed deeply impact the world.
While throughout history human institutions have repeatedly failed, especially in the area of unity, God’s concept of peace has become very apparent with the arrival of the Prince of Peace, Jesus.
We know that eventually God’s kingdom of peace will come to full fruition. That’s why we pray the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy will be done, Thy kingdom come”. The good news is that we don’t have to wait for His kingdom to arrive; we can live in God’s kingdom now if we pursue peace. Jesus confirms in His sermon of the Mount (Matthew 5:9): “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”