Thursday, April 30, 2009

Who’s in Charge Here?

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I’m still actively working through this process with the Lord, in which I asked Him to help me hate my sin, and He has been answering in His own unique ways.

One fact struck me recently, and I’m sure it came from His Spirit.

I want to have God for my own, more than I want to be owned by Him. I want to hold the reins and steer towards God, instead of giving the reins to Him.


My thoughts on this subject reminded me of a devotional that I wrote years ago, on a different website. I want to reproduce it for you here.

I think the Lord must have been giving me today's topic, because I just about woke up with it. All morning I've been singing, "Jesus, You are My King." And I've been thinking about what it means to have Jesus as King.

There's a stubborn side of me, and I suspect that you may have a stubborn side too, if you're human like me. It's the side that says, "I don't want a king. I don't like the idea of being subject to anyone. I do my own thing, I'm my own person, I'm an adult, and no one can tell me what to do."

I think it is especially hard for us as Americans to swallow the idea of a king over us. When we think of it, we think of everything that can go wrong when a human being is given too much power. We live in a democracy, and if we don't like our leaders, we boot them out! Who needs a king with absolute authority? We kicked free from that sort of tyranny hundreds of years ago. We're proud of our independence as Americans, and rightly so. But that kind of thinking is so ingrained in my heart that it is hard for me to believe that Someone really has the right to tell me how to live every part of my life. It's oppressive to think about...if I'm thinking about it in my flesh.

How deceptive Satan is! He too is a ruler...not as powerful as our Lord, of course, but a ruler nonetheless. He rules the lives of all those who have not made Christ their king. (I don't mean to imply a limit to God's sovereignty, which of course extends to the lives of those who don't know Him. But God has, for a time, given Satan a realm of authority.) Those who do not obey God have not become independent as they think. They have simply become enslaved to other masters. This is even true of those of us who belong to Christ, but who have chosen for a time to wander. Even though we are God's children, like the prodigal son we choose to live just like the slaves of this world. And we find that what we thought would be a wonderful freedom turns out to be nothing of the kind. Satan lures us with delicious temptations, but "their end is death."

Some deceive themselves that they truly are independent, slaves neither to God nor Satan. Perhaps they deny the existence of both. But they do not understand that their own flesh is also a merciless slave driver which is never satisfied. The flesh hungers after power and pleasure, and never gets enough of either. In its relentless pursuit of its desires, it runs roughshod over everyone around us, and eventually ruins our lives as well. It reminds me of the rebellious youth, who declares his independence from his parents by enslaving himself to drugs, or alcohol, or nicotine. Soon he will do anything to satisfy the very cravings which will destroy him.

But we have to come to the point where we truly see and believe that Satan and our flesh are cruel taskmasters. Until we truly see that, we will continue to serve them willingly. And at the same time we will look at Christ and say, "We want no-one to rule over us!" How blind and foolish!

But what kind of tyrant is our Lord? What kind of slave driver is He? The King who came to serve, who died for us, who intercedes for us, who waits patiently for us to come to our senses, who lovingly disciplines us for our own good, who frees us from the law of sin and death...need I say more?

Yes, His authority is absolute. He is sovereign. And I'm so glad! Imagine a universe in which Satan, or even our own flesh, were sovereign. Such a monstrosity would self-destruct, and it would be a good thing for it to do so.

I must have a king, for I am only human. Who then is my king? Satan? My flesh? Lord help me to truly understand how awful such enslavement is. Then I will have such joy in my heart when I sing, "Jesus, You are my King!"

Blessings in our King,


That devotional touches something in my heart. I want to remember that I always have a master. It’s not a question of Christ versus my Autonomous Self ruling. It’s a question of Christ versus Satan/my sin-enslaved flesh ruling.

I don’t want to think in terms of "deciding to have a master." That still has negative connotations in my rebellious, non-trusting mind sometimes. Instead, I want to think of myself (realistically) as someone who has always had a master, but has had a change of ownership. I want to get to know this new Master better, because the news about Him is unspeakably good, and serving Him is true freedom!

Like Pilate, I find no fault in Him. But oh, let me not be like Pilate by refusing Him as my King anyway, even in some small degree!

Oh Lord, help me to truly surrender to You!

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Sherri Ward said...

I love that song, "Jesus, You are my King!" But as you suspect, I certainly have a stubborn side as well. I'm thankful He doesn't give up. This is very insightful, thanks for sharing!

Mary Moss said...

Wow! This really hit home for me. Yes, I share that side of you that wants to "play the game" but want to be the one who gets to make all the rules.

Great post. Much to offer up to my Lord and master.


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