Throughout the Old Testament in the Books of 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Chronicles, we see a line of kings ruling Israel. While there are a number of good kings such as David and Solomon, there are also a great number of terrible and sinful kings such as Saul. If there is one thing both of these lines of kings have in common is that they struggled to stay on the throne. I am not speaking so much about fighting for power against other people as more of fighting for power against God. Not only did they struggle on the throne of Israel but the throne of their own hearts. David is a great example. Here is a man who was after God’s own heart in leading the nation of Israel, yet because of sinfulness in having an affair with Bathsheba and then murdering her husband by putting him out on the front lines, David struggled throughout not just on his physical throne, but the throne of his heart.
This past month at Biola University was the annual Torrey Conference, a time where students take a three day break from classes to focus on the Lord through countless intellectual and inspirational Christian speakers. The last and final session of the conference was given by Student Missionary Union leader, Brady Lee. His topic discussed what it meant to dethrone ourselves in our hearts for God to take his rightful place. “All of us have a throne in our lives,” He says during the chapel. “the throne is our hearts. When you are on the throne of your own hearts, you call the shots. You make the decisions and you have the final say so while you push God off to the side.“
Like David, we all have a throne that we struggle to allow God to sit on and it is greatly tempting to take matters into our own hands. I completely understand that being comfortable with our lives feels, well, comfortable. Yet, when we become too comfortable with the prospering of our lives, discomfort will be a very wide awakening for us and if we are not ready, we begin to take control of the throne as we dethrone God from his rightful place in our lives. This was not just a sermon for me to hear, but also a personal flashback for me. One that would never forget.
Sophomore year was no doubt one of the best college years I had. Grades were the highest they had ever been, I made new friends that are still amazing to this day, and my relationship with Christ felt secure. All was well inside and out. As the school year continued, I became so comfortable with my life that I was ill-prepared when God called me out of the journalism department. Throughout my college career and even beforehand, I strived for journalism only for God to call me out, as if all my efforts and plans meant nothing. While I did as he commanded, I did it with a bitter attitude and mindset. Rather than having the heart of a servant and having a drive to do God’s will wherever He led me, I was angry that God would call me to give up my life goals and dreams for whatever He had planned.
As I continued my education at Biola in Junior year, discomfort began to arise in my heart. I refused to give up the throne of my heart and depend on God. Because of this, I became greatly distant from God which affected my grades, my relationships, and my own personal thoughts and beliefs to the point where I began to think that life and everything in it was meaningless. It took me nearly 7 months to realize just how unstable my life was under my self-perceived “control” when I was when my good and dear friend corrected me and spoke greatly into my life. Yet, despite my sin and disobedience, God forgave me and still had a plan to lead my life in His direction. Since then, I have always consulted with God about major decisions and have greatly put prayer into almost every major and minor decision in my life.
Comfort is something that should be enjoyed, especially when it is given by God. We also have to be careful in how comfortable we get in our own lives so that we do not miss out on God’s voice of direction. When life begins to feel uneasy and uncomfortable – whether it is finances, broken relationships, or even the trials of God – we are given comfort by the Holy Spirit who is called The Comforter (John 14:26). We are secure in Him (John 10:27-28), can rest in Him (Matt. 11:28), and don’t need to be anxious for anything (Phil. 4:6). If we as Christians were promised a life of comfort, there would not be a need to the Holy Spirit let along Christ himself. We are called to depend on God, through both times of prosperity and times of difficulty. When God calls you into a new direction or puts you through trials, will you put your trust in Him for comfort and dethrone yourself for the rightful ruler?
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