You know, in our western culture, the idea of a king is somewhat foreign. When we hear words like “obedience” and “submission,” it’s part of our American spirit to cringe a little bit. We know what it’s like to see power abused and we don’t like the idea of being ruled. Government should exist to serve the people, but they better not tell us how to live our lives.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being an American and am very thankful for our country. I’m also grateful for the men and women who so sacrificially serve to defend it. That being said, I think this national spirit can get in the way of our relationship with God.
You see, the Bible not only refers to God as a Father, but also as a King. In fact, he is described as the King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:16) When we begin to see Jesus as not just Savior, but also King, it changes things. Kings don’t merely give suggestions, they tell you what to do. When you enter into the presence of a king, you are quickly aware of the fact that it’s not about you. There is a reverent fear that enters your heart as you realize this is someone you don’t want to mess with.
In Ezekiel chapter 1, Ezekiel gets a vision of God and I want you to read his description of what he saw…
25 Then there came a voice from above the vault over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. 26 Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. 27 I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. 28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.
This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.
The Bible is clear about the fact that there is a throne in the universe and that someone sits on it. This being created the stars, the planets, the earth along with you and me. This is the God of the Bible and he is the undisputed, undefeated King of heaven and earth. This King is not to be trifled with. I’m thankful that believers are able to call this King, “Father.” I’m thankful he is loving and gracious and kind, but I don’t want to forget the fact that he is also my King.
Not only am I his loved son, but I’m also his servant. At the end of the day, it’s his will and desires that need to take preeminence in my life.
My job is to submit to him. (James 4:7)
Many people don’t love the word, “submit.” It has some nasty connotations because of the abuse of power we have seen and experienced. That being said, God calls us to submit to him. I would venture to say we don’t like the idea of that primarily because we don’t trust him completely.
As we learn to trust him, submission goes from being a “got to” to a “get to.” The King of the universe created you and has a plan for your life. He’s not asking you to figure it out or have all the resources to pull it off. He does however, call for your submission. I would encourage you to think about that word….submission.
How does the thought of submitting to God sound to you? How does it make you feel? Why? These are questions that are worth asking. As a country without a king, it’s easy for us to dismiss the truth that Jesus is not only Savior, but also King. We cannot dismiss the latter in favor of the former.