A Battle For The Throne

Every kingdom has someone sitting on the throne… even the kingdom of our hearts.

For every man or woman, there are but two choices as to who sits on the throne: God or You.

1) Ruled By Me

              - The rule of my kingdom can be compromised by many things, some    of which are evil and wrong.

              - But it can even be compromised by things that are not wrong or evil themselves.

              - It WILL be compromised when the following things take my focus away from God:                            

                        A.) Family - (Mark 3:31-35 & Matthew 10:34-39)

                                           - Jesus in Mark 3 told His earthly family that those that do the will of His Father were His “real” family. My love for my family cannot overshadow my relationship with God, no matter how much that may sting.

                                           - Jesus in Matthew 10 bluntly stated that those who love their family more than Him are not worthy of Him. Jesus knew that a true disciple, a true follower would be forced to make some difficult choices, but He also knew that the reward was worth it.

                        B.) Possessions - (1 John 2:15-17 & Mark 10:17-31)

                                           - John wrote in 1 John 2 that the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride in possessions are all things of the world and not of God. Does that make ownership of things wrong? Absolutely not! But, if those desires and the pride in the things we own take the throne of our life, they are no different than sin as they separate us from God Almighty.

                                           - Mark relays to us the words of Jesus in Mark 10 where Jesus was faced with a follower, a believer whose possessions kept him from being able to have the confidence in his eternal destination. Yes, it is possible for someone to be a follower of Christ and still be in love with their stuff! Jesus did not tell him to sell everything because his possessions were evil, Jesus told him to sell everything because that was the one thing keeping him from having a true relationship with God!

                        C.) Stubborn Selfishness - (Romans 2:1-11, 2 Peter 2:22)

                                           - Paul wrote in Romans 2 that we are simply foolish to think that we will escape the judgment of God. In verse 5, he even states that because of our hard and impenitent heart, we will store up wrath for ourselves on the day of judgment. This indicates that not only can we sometimes be selfish, but there are times when we are shown the error of our ways and refuse to acknowledge it! When we are selfish, we do not obey the truth. (v. 8) The foolishness comes about when we have to suffer consequences for stubborn selfishness, yet instead of turning from our foolish ways we return back to them. God proclaims how He feels about those people through the words of Solomon and Peter’s quote of those words. (Proverbs 26:11 & 2 Peter 2:22)

2) Ruled By God

              - The removal of God from the throne can be deadly and can lead to eternal destruction.

              - God is in His rightful place when we are:

                        A.) Devoted - (1 Timothy 4:13-16, Romans 12:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:17)

                                           - In 1 Timothy 4:13-16, Paul explains to Timothy that a full devotion to the reading of the Scriptures could save not only the one reading, but those who hear it. The word of God in the honest heart cannot help but place God on the throne of that heart.

                                           - Romans 12:12 and 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tell us that a devoted, constant prayer life allows God to seize full control of the kingdom of our lives. When we ignore this aspect of our lives, we open the door for our worldly life to re-assert itself as dominant in our lives.

                                           - Mark 10:43-45 explains that when we are devoted to service, we become like Christ and put Christ in His rightful position of power on the throne of our kingdom.     

                       B.) Distinctive - (2 Timothy 2:21, 1 Peter 1:13-16, & 1 Peter 2:9-10)

                                           - 2 Timothy 2:21 explains that we are to be honorable vessels for the Master’s use. To put God in the proper place, we must be set apart for His use. We are to be distinctive and set apart for good works, not just works that we want to do.

                                           - In 1 Peter 1:13-16, Peter explains that we must be prepared for action, focused, sober-minded, obedient, and ultimately, holy and set apart. He continues this thought in 1 Peter 2:9-10 by explaining that we are not just set apart from the world, but set apart with a purpose.

                       C.) Disciplined - (1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Colossians 3:5-10)

                                           - In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Paul explains that no one is shocked or surprised that an athlete trains his/her body for competition, so why should followers of Christ be any different? To truly place God on the throne of our hearts, we must commit to be disciplined in our efforts. While many in our world (and even in the church) place an extremely high value on being physically fit, we must be even more committed to disciplining ourselves to be spiritually fit.

                                           - Colossians 3:5-10 takes us through a spiritual makeover. To truly be disciplined, we may need to rid ourselves of the things that seemingly block our path. (Hebrews 12:1-2) By doing these things, we become a new creature that is renewed in knowledge after the image of God, our Creator.

“In every Christian’s heart there is a cross and a throne, and the Christian is on the throne till he puts himself on the cross; if he refuses the cross he remains on the throne. Perhaps that is at the bottom of the backsliding and worldliness among gospel believers today. We want to be saved but we insist that Christ do all the dying. No cross for us, no dethronement, no dying.” - A.W. Tozer -

The ultimate decision is ours… Will we take up our cross or chose to leave ourselves on the throne? (Luke 9:23-27)

- Scott