Men, you are kings. In Christ, you are the kings of the earth. You have been made to bear the image of the Most High God, the one who rules over all creation. His plan for you was for you to rule in his name. The reason that you exist is to bring God’s wisdom and order to the wild and waste parts of the earth. In his book The Unseen Realm, Michael Heiser writes, God’s “desire was to live among them [the humans], and for them to rule and reign with him.” God has made you to exercise his authority over his creation by his side.
That’s a high calling, to say the least. And if you’re anything like me, you don’t feel like a king. Not even close. Most days I feel more like the court jester than a wise and noble sovereign. A sniveling cynic. An excuse-making coward. An ignorant buffoon. But that is not who I am. It is not who you are. In Christ, you are a man who has been called, equipped, and destined to rule the earth – and not just the earth, the entire cosmos! – with confidence, courage, and wisdom. This, THIS, is Who. You. Are.
God has made you to exercise his authority over his creation by his side.
God doesn’t want to rule you; he wants to rule with you. God doesn’t want to exercise authority over you; he wants to exercise authority through you. Now, it takes humility and submission from us in order for God to rule with and through us, but humility and submission aren’t the point. They are the means to God’s end: to selflessly share power and authority with his creatures for the good of his creation. A good creation would be filled with creatures who cannot sin, but the best possible creation would be governed by creatures who possess, by nature, the freedom and power to rule alongside the ruling Creator. Only these creatures will have learned, through their own catastrophic failure and God’s remarkable redemption, that God’s wisdom is truly wise, that God’s ways are completely good, and that the fullness of life can only be found along his path.
Oh, there are other paths. We know this all too well. They are paths marked out for us by our own selfish desires, our broken world system, and most of all, by our enemy. That’s right, we have an enemy. And he’s not messing around. He hates us. Always has. He was there at the dawn of humanity, ready to snuff us out. But he did something far worse than killing our first parents; he stole their authority. He tricked them into giving up their thrones and then he put them under his foot.
God doesn’t want to rule you; he wants to rule with you. God doesn’t want to exercise authority over you; he wants to exercise authority through you.
This might sound crazy, but we aren’t the only intelligent beings in the universe. No, I’m not talking about aliens from other planets. (But, who knows?) I’m talking about intelligent, spiritual beings. The Bible has all kinds of language to describe these beings: angels, demons, the host of heaven, the sons of God. But no matter what you call them, you need to know that we are not alone in the universe. In fact, some of these spiritual beings have gone just as far off the rails as the worst humans of history – maybe even farther! And these evil spiritual beings have declared war against us.
Think about this for a second. These ultra-powerful, super-intelligent, semi-immortal spiritual beings have declared war against humans. Why would they do this? There’s only one reason: We threaten their power. The spiritual forces of evil fight against us as though we were kings. And let’s be honest. Generation after generation, man after man, woman after woman, they’ve done a damn fine job of pulling us away from our thrones. We’ve lost our way in the fog of this war, and billions upon billions of us have been taken out.
The image that comes to my mind is of Theoden, king of Rohan. When we first meet him in The Two Towers, he is old and weak. Frozen. Powerless. Asleep. Why? Because of his “advisor,” the wicked manipulator Grima Wormtongue. Grima’s so-called wisdom has made the king into nothing more than a figurehead, incapable of thinking for himself or acting on behalf of others. Theoden cannot rule as long as he remains under Grima’s spell.
We are Theoden under the spell of Wormtongue. We are kings, but we do nothing. We are called to rule, but we are frozen by indecision and cowardice. The voices speaking into our ears, through our screens, have put us to sleep. Every time we determine to act righteously, to dare bravely, to speak wisely, the voice of our own personal Wormtongue whispers in our ears and the moment passes. Oh well. Perhaps tomorrow will be different. “Yes,” hisses Wormtongue, “you’ll be different tomorrow.”
But Theoden is powerful! He is wise and strong and brave! He is a noble king who cares for the well-being of others, and he is not afraid to risk his life to serve and defend them. He does not shrink from evil, but fights it with courage. But he cannot become the man he truly is until the spell of Wormtongue is broken. And the same is true for you. You will never be the man you truly are until you are freed from the spell of your personal Grima Wormtongue. But who will free you? Who can break the spell of Wormtongue and unleash the ferociously righteous king that you truly are?
There is only one who can do this. There is one who fought back, who hit the enemy so hard that they still shudder at the sound of his name. He is our King, the King of kings, Jesus Christ. The devil tried, but he couldn’t pull Jesus off his throne. He couldn’t deceive or manipulate him. His lies couldn’t put Jesus to sleep. He emptied his bag of tricks, but nothing could take Jesus out. This is the one whose name we bear. This is the one in whom we live and rule today, and the one with whom we will live and rule forever.
In Christ, all men are kings. All women are queens. In Christ, we get back the birthright we sold for a bit of fruit. With Christ, we sit on a cosmic throne, ruling with power and dominion. Through Christ, we are remade for the task for which we were first created. Jesus gives it all back to us.
Life today, therefore, is practice for an eternity of cosmic dominion. We don’t become kings when we die; we become kings when we surrender our hearts to the King of kings. We have dominion in this life – in our home, family, workplace, and church. God has called us to lead and exercise authority for the sake of others, especially for those we love. It should go without saying, but God has redeemed and called us to be good kings, to be men who use our strength to serve and rescue. Bad kings force others to do their will through coercion and manipulation, but good kings set about ordering their dominions to the law of God through love and wisdom. What this world needs more than anything else is strong and wise men who love with courage and confidence.
What this world needs more than anything else is strong and wise men who love with courage and confidence.
Every man needs three things to be a good king: confidence, courage, and wisdom. A man without confidence will leak insecurity like an old, rusty pipe. A man without courage will find endless distractions with which to pacify himself. A man without wisdom will compound error upon error, and his every effort to fix his mistake will result in failure. But where can men get the confidence, courage, and wisdom to be the kings God has made them to be? God himself has provided, and continues to provide, everything that we need.
Our confidence comes from God the Father. Our Father. Your Father. Above all, he is good. He is trustworthy. He never lies, manipulates, or steals. He never abuses or takes advantage of us. His love is as vast as the ocean and his faithfulness as firm as the mountains. He fills up our faltering and insecure hearts with the Spirit of Sonship, and he invites us to call out to him, “Daddy! Father!” He has spread a table before you of the richest foods and finest wines. Your seat is reserved. You are his beloved son, and his inheritance is more than you can imagine.
Our courage comes from Jesus Christ, our brother and Lord. He took on the forces of evil and never backed down. He stripped himself of every divine weapon, facing the devil and his demonic army with nothing but his hands and his wits. And he was victorious! You are cut from the same cloth. C.S. Lewis wrote, “the Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.” Paul tells us that our lives are hidden in Christ with God. His victory is our victory. His courage is our courage. We follow in his footsteps, and we can learn to fight as he fought. There is no evil spiritual being that does not cower and quake at the name of Jesus, and he goes before us into every battle.
Our wisdom comes from the Holy Spirit, the Counselor, who leads us into all truth. The most effective lies are the ones that are about 90% true. But the Spirit doesn’t lead us into 90% of the truth; he leads us into the fullness of truth. He is our reliable guide along the way of wisdom. He teaches us all the ways and words of God. He will never lead us astray. The Bible tells us that if any of us lack wisdom (and who among us doesn’t?) then all we have to do is ask, and we will receive it. The Holy Spirit lives within us, speaking all truth at all times into our hearts and minds.
Come awake, o king. Be revived by the King of kings. Be confident. Take courage. Rule wisely. You are more dangerous to your enemy than you can possibly know. You have a greater destiny than you could ever imagine. You have a higher calling than you would dare to dream. In Christ, you are a king. So be a king in Christ. Today. Tomorrow. Forever.