Thursday, May 4, 2023

Do You Have a Throne of Your Own?

Do You Have a Throne of Your Own?
by David Brenneman 

     "Judas Iscariot powerfully reminds us of the horrific possibilities within every human heart. While he called Jesus "Rabbi" (Matt. 26:25, 49), there is no record he ever used the term "Lord". Sadly, he shows us that we can claim allegiance to Christ without ever truly believing in Him as our Lord and Savior (Matt. 7:22, 23). This is the case with those who believe Jesus was a good teacher but deny Him as the only way to the Father (John 14:6). This is also the case for those who profess to know Him but do so only for their own gain.
     Whatever his reason for handing over the Lord Jesus, we know that sin had so blinded Judas that he could not see the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  He pridefully took matters into his own hands and later regretted all that he did (Matt. 27:3-5).
Judas' story of betrayal still resonates, not only because of his evil kiss (Luke 22:47,48), but also because we realize the wickedness of our own flesh.  

How many of us attend church regularly and give Jesus intellectual assent, but not our hearts?  

How many of us call Him King only as a way to achieve our own thrones?

What kind of kiss do we give the Lord?
- Dr. Charles Stanley "Judas: "Rabbi" Is Not Enough" - Life Examples Luke 22:1-6  Life Principles Daily Bible

It's rather interesting when a thought or phrase stands out in the midst of life. 

This excerpt from my Life Principles Daily Bible I parsed differently than it appeared in the print to give greater focus on the questions that Dr. Stanley was asking. 

We are always facing temptations of every kind and variety.  The greatest are often the simplest.  Satan's aim in the life of Believers is to get the Believers to derail themselves.  To get them to stall their sanctification. To get them to want what they want and not what God wants for them.  To get them to essentially establish their own throne in their lives and put Jesus in a chair by Himself until life gets to be too much. 

"But for the cowardly, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and sexually immoral persons, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8 NASB. 

Caught part of a Pastor's interview, have no idea who he was, but what he said about this verse was very interesting and impactful.

The list doesn't begin as you might think with the prolific list of abominable people who have done countless atrocities in human history. 

It begins with cowards, even before unbelieving. Then comes the rest.

A "reverse bookend" is to look in the book of Acts. The very opposite. They prayed for boldness.  

When it comes to testifying about your faith, if indeed you are claiming to be saved in Christ Jesus, which would describe you?  

We often don't need to run from the life that God desires for us, we often willingly walk away because it's appearing to be too difficult.  People becoming hard to deal with.  Situations becoming too much to handle.  Constant conflicts. 

If I may remind you my Dear Reader, there's a war going on.  We are not going to leave this world alive.  We are not going have lives we want when it's in opposition to what the Spirit needs to have happen in our lives.  That's a fast track to being removed from this world.  

Read your Bible. God takes a very very dim view of His Name being mistreated and abused.  We who are in Christ have committed to a life in Christ, not a life for ourselves AND Christ.  This isn't some scenario like we read in the Old Testament of kings setting up other thrones for family members of which God was NOT pleased with.  We have 1 life in Christ.  Getting our way isn't paramount in the Will of God for you and I.  Our personal happiness isn't a requirement for obedience to God's Word. 

Are you showing cowardice in your walk with Jesus?  Are you casually hiding your faith rather than living it out?  This is what I think it truly means when the Bible mentions being ashamed of Jesus.  Read for yourself what the Apostles prayed for.  Boldness to proclaim the truth of God.  The absolute opposite of cowardice. 

Are you so intent on building your house upon the sand that you're ignoring the storm that's coming?  That's what is in store for personal thrones.  

When we put anything or anyone as equal to or higher than Jesus in our hearts we have become idol worshippers. 

Look at the confrontation in 1st Kings. Elijah vs the prophets of Baal.  

May indeed the cry of our own hearts be "The Lord He is God!"

Do you spend more time on self than you do with Jesus?  Are you at all concerned about what concerns Him?  Are you more concerned about whatever is important to you rather than Him?  Have you ran from God because life got hard?  People attacking you?  Are you showing signs of cowardice in regards to your faith?  Will what's offered by you to Jesus when you stand before Him amount to anything?  Or will it be burned up with nothing to show of a life lived in Him and for Him?

Are you more concerned about creating your own personal peace rather than engaging in the life that the Spirit needs you engaged in? 

Many questions but then again I only write as directed, if they are provoking you to think, then it's time my Friend to have a real conversation with Jesus.  

Maybe it's time to destroy a throne or two.  

Maybe it's time to step on those rose colored glasses and see life as God needs you to see it.  

Maybe it's time for you to pray for boldness.  Time to pray for what the Spirit says is important.  

A cushy job may provide personal peace and contentment but is it what God wants for you?   Jobs may further your career but is what you are doing glorifying God?  Have you elevated even taking care of your health, your wealth, your prosperity above what the Spirit wants for you?

Self evaluation is always good in determining if you are living life the way that the Spirit needs you to live it.  

Those who are in Christ Jesus are set in the body of Christ as the Spirit sees fit.  
Same as saying that the Spirit has a special, specific, job for you. Are you doing it?  Are you reigning in your life or is Jesus?  Who's throne is above all others in your life?

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