”Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” John 5:19
I think we have lost a concept that is very important to our lives.
In the old days [and even in some countries today] a king had complete control over the lives of his subjects. He could tell them what job to take, who to marry, and have them executed on a whim. Esther took her life in her hands when she went before the king, her husband, without being sent for.
When you lived under such a system you were very careful not to get the king angry at you. You exercised self-control [even Nehemiah was afraid when he let his sorrow show in front of the king], you did your best to please, and you obeyed, at least, if you wanted to live or keep out of the torture chamber.
We have seen that such total, lawless control by one person over others is unbiblical. God designed a system of counter-balances in places of authority to protect people. In the West, having come under the influence of Biblical law, we have a system of government based on this ideal [although it is fast slipping away].
I said all that to say this: In doing away with absolute power in one person [and rightly so] we have carried that attitude over into our relationship with God. We tend to forget that God is the real absolute King. His Word is Law. His commands are not suggestions. He controls all things. And we are to bring everything to Him for His approval and abandon anything which does not meet His approval. The kingship of Christ is an often ignored fact in our world.
Living in a lax society we have a hard time with this concept. We want to make our own decisions. We want to make our own choices as to what is right and wrong. We acknowledge the kingship of Christ, but it is more like the “figurehead” kings we have today with little real power. We call Him “Lord” and then pursue our own independent way.
In short, we are to have the same attitude that Jesus had. He was not independent. He did not form His own ideas or work for His own agenda. His only concern was to discover the Father’s will and do it. He was moved with compassion by what moved the Father with compassion. He was angry at what the Father was angry at. He followed orders. At the pool of Bethesda, which was crowded with sick people, He walked in, healed one person, and walked out because that was what the Father said.
Our problem is that we think we know better than God [we would never actually say that, of course]. God has a plan laid out in Scripture as to how our lives, families, churches, business, and even nations are to be governed, but we think we have a better idea. So we take the parts we like or agree with [to ease our conscience that we are submitted to the kingship of Christ] and then add or manipulate it to meet our own agendas. We all agree that murder is wrong, but we will debate capital punishment or abortion. We all agree that bitterness, unforgiveness, and anger are wrong, but often we refuse to let them go. The list could go on forever. Sometimes we know God wants us to do a specific thing, but we don’t do it. The kingship of Christ is to us a theory, not a reality.
This isn’t something that some of us face and others don’t. We all face it...everyday in a variety of ways. Jesus Himself faced it. In Gethsemane He did not want to go to the cross [who would?]. And so He talked with the Father about it. Nothing wrong with talking things over with the Father and letting Him know how you feel even if you don’t want to obey. However, if the kingship of Christ is real in our lives, the conclusion will always be, “Not my will but Yours be done.”
On this planet God has made you a life manager. You are responsible for managing your life. That doesn’t mean you control everything that happens to you, but you do control how you respond and you do have decisions to make that can alter the course of your life and the lives of those around you. This is not something that can be avoided. It can be ignored - like the servant with one talent - but the responsibility is unavoidable.
As as life manager God has given you the freedom to chose to live in obedience to the kingship of Christ or not. It’s not a choice really. As the Sovereign, He demands absolute obedience in every detail, but He will not force us into it. At the end of time, we will present our lives before the King and given an account as to whether we managed them in obedience or disobedience. It is a fearful thing to stand before the King. What will we say? Will we be able to say, “By the power of the Holy Spirit, I did everything I knew how to live in conformity to Your will?” Or will we have to say, ”I did it my way because I thought it was best?” No excuses will be acceptable.
I know that when we come to Jesus as Lord and Saviour He has paid the price of our sin and we stand holy and pure in His sight. Sometimes we use that as an excuse for sloppy, sinful life management. Yes, we are not perfect. God knows that. But are we managing our life in obedience the kingship of Christ to the best of our ability and knowledge, enabled by the Holy Spirit? Are we seeking to increase our ability and knowledge to improve our service or are we simply serving ourselves in God’s name?
As usual I am talking more to myself than to you, but I present it to you for your own meditation. And yes, I know there are many other aspects of our relationship with God: Friend, Counselor, Lover...etc. But let’s not forget that He is also an absolute King who requires absolute obedience.