You don’t need to read much more than the title of John A. Sanford’s book The Kingdom Within to walk away a wiser person. (Another favorite title of mine: the even more telling The Kingdom of God is Within You by Leo Tolstoy.)
Sanford is an Episcopalian priest and noted author and while he preaches that the kingdom can only be found within, he also points out that actually entering the kingdom can be a difficult task. As evidence he cites the following verse from Matthew 22:14:
“For many are called, but few are chosen.”
The next question you might naturally ask is, “well, how is one chosen?” According to Sanford, entrance to the kingdom is only granted when you “come to recognize the reality of the inner world and to respond to its demands upon them for consciousness.”Importantly, Sanford adds “this must always be an individual act of recognition, it cannot be accomplished so long as we are a member of a group.” He believes that group think is the “easiest road”, one that won’t get you anywhere, because as Matthew 7:13-14 points out:
“..it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
That got me thinking of another passage from Matthew, in this case verse 6:6:
“When you pray, go into a room alone and close the door. Pray to your Father in private. He knows what is done in private and will reward you.”
While the church setting has its benefits, sometimes one must lower the blinds and pray alone. It is there one can find the kingdom that is within.