In the absence of strong leadership, part two

Here’s something that I was really feeling as I studied this subject. And trust me, it’s not the easiest thing to accept, especially if you’re not in a place where you’re following God. But here it is. I’m not designed to succeed on my own. I’m made by God, for God. And if that fact feels like a leash to you then I’m sorry, because to me that fact is ultimate freedom. That I was lovingly crafted to play a role in my God’s kingdom, to be someone He calls son, I can’t think of a greater truth and freedom than that. There was a time in my life not too long ago when I didn’t understand this. I’m not going to lie, the idea that God made me just so I’d choose Him and belong to Him felt like some sort of slavery. But when you get into the Bible, when you start to glimpse His heart and His motivations and His absolute, universe filling love, you start to understand. The love behind your creation is magnificent. You were lovingly crafted by God in the hopes that you’d use the free will He gave you to come to accept the truth, that you are His and He is yours, and it’s the most beautiful pairing that will ever exist. He doesn’t want slaves, He wants sons and daughters to give His grand inheritance to, to share His unending love with. That’s the kind of king He is.

We need a leader in our lives. We need a king. We need the King. We need Jesus as the leader of our lives, the leader of our countries, the leader of our cities, of our families, of our relationships, of our children, of our churches, and of our homes. Be honest with yourself. We don’t do well without leadership. The Bible displays it time and again, that people who were putting a person in the top position of leadership in their lives couldn’t maintain when that person faltered or left or died. There’s a place for one king in us, and that place belongs to Jesus. I called Him my savior for a lot of years, but it wasn’t until I also installed Him as my king that things started to turn around for me. It wasn’t until I stopped trying to be the Lord of my own life that I finally realized what it meant to live within the full goodness of God’s presence and His promise.

I’ll freely admit that I’m not always the best subject to my King. There are days when I try to usurp His power, when I’ll disagree with the direction He’s taking me and try to change things. Sometimes I find myself trying to figure things out on my own, stubbornly relying on my own weak understandings and thoughts instead of turning over my problems to Him. The fact is, getting Jesus into the proper place in our lives is just one of many steps on our walk with Him. If you were to ask Him, I think Jesus would tell you that He loves me fully and completely but that I’m a work in progress. Just like with the disciples, I’m sure there are times He’s pleased with me and times when He’d like to shout at me and remind me just how little I know and how far I have to go. But man, nothing compares to the peace you have once you get Him upon your throne. In the absence of strong leadership I was lost and worse than that I didn’t realize I was lost. Have you ever been so lost that you’re convinced you’re not lost? That’s where I was for a lot of years. Jesus cleared the fog in my life, He showed me where I was versus where I needed to be, and He’s been guiding me in the right direction ever since.

Sometimes I get to the end of these blogs and I feel the Holy Spirit urging me to keep writing. This is one of those times, I just feel so strongly right now that someone out there reading this is in the place that I was in. You want God as savior, but not as king. You want to be saved from hell, but you don’t want to be ruled by Jesus in your daily life. I tell you with my whole heart, I understand your situation exactly. From the outside, the lordship of Jesus can look like a strict set of rules designed to stifle your fun, stifle your free will, choke out your uniqueness and individuality. I’m asking you today, this very moment, to believe the words of the Bible and to push past your fears. Hear and trust in Jesus’ words in the book of Matthew.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

God is the author of your uniqueness, He is the maker of your heart, He is the architect of your individuality. He knows who you are better than you do. He didn’t create you just to eventually strip you down to an automaton. The Bible isn’t a stifling set of rules to bring you into line as a religious zombie. It’s a book of living promises, filled with guidelines and wisdom that can lead to a healthier, happier, more prosperous and productive existence. There is nothing comparable to the freedom you feel when God is sitting in His rightful place on the throne of your life. As I’ve grown in my knowledge of His word, I find more and more that every single guideline or rule exists solely for my benefit, for my protection, for my sake. Like a parent telling the child not to touch the hot stove, His word keeps me from calamity.

I often close these blogs by telling you guys that I love you. I mean it every time, but today I just feel an extra pull to extend those words even further. To really highlight them, to really tell you that from me to you, even if we’re complete strangers, I love you. If you’re someone who identifies with this post, if you’ve struggled to put or keep Jesus on the throne of your life, I want you to know that I was right there in that exact spot. And there hasn’t been a single second that I regretted my decision to install Him as my king. In the absence of His leadership I was a mess. My life was a collection of fleeting moments of happiness draped over a lost and sinking heart. In the presence of His leadership I am complete. My life is a true triumph, full of joy and purpose. There are still struggles, but now I face them with the backing of the one true King. And there isn’t a single problem that exists that He can’t fix. If you don’t have Jesus on that throne, make the decision today to get Him there. Go to Him in prayer, ask Him to be your savior and your king. Ask Him to take his rightful position as the lord of your life. It’s the single most rewarding and important decision you’ll ever make.

PRAYER AND CLOSING

Father God, today I just feel so at peace and so thankful.  You are so good to me.  The comfort and peace that exists within me is almost indescribable.  You are such a light, such a source of love and comfort.  That word just keeps coming back to me.  You are my comfort, Lord.  I spent so many years feeling uncomfortable.  Physically, as I struggled with my legs, emotionally, as I struggled with self image and confidence, and spiritually, as I struggled to get by with myself as the king of my life.  I was constantly uncomfortable, and I hated almost every second of it.  Now it’s the complete opposite.  With you in your rightful place, a sense of peace and comfort has overcome every aspect of my existence.  I’m just so thankful for your presence and for your purpose, for the meaning that you’ve injected into my life.  Father God, I’m so happy now, so excited about my life, and I so badly want others to feel the same way.  I cry out on their behalf today, Lord, I cry out for their souls.  So many people view your lordship as a negative thing, and today I ask that you open eyes and show the truth of your lordship to those who need to see it.  Show them that it’s a thing of truest beauty, a situation that won’t make them a slave, but will set them free.  Hit people hard today, wash over them, stop them in their tracks with a revelation of your love so powerful that they have to sit down to process it.  You are our comfort, Lord, and I thank you with all of my being for it.  You set me at ease and allow me to view the world in a new way, full of confidence.  Keep building my boldness, keep growing my knowledge and faith, keep building me into a mighty man so I can do more and more work on your behalf.  Thank you for your love, and thank you for all that you do.  In Jesus’ precious name I pray, amen.

I tell you friends, life with Jesus isn’t always easy, and there are troubles and problems that come along, but man, facing them with God on your side makes all the difference in the world.  I love all of you so much, but that love I have is nothing compared to the love that God has for you.  Get deeper with the Lord, dive deeper into prayer, into worship, and into His word.  You will never regret it.

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