The Only King

Zechariah 14:9 The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.

throne-hire-1Marriage is an awesome thing.  In our younger years many people participate in what we call dating.  What is dating?  Well, I guess it’s trying out your heart on different people.  Will this relationship be a fit?  Is she the one?  Some people date a lot.  Like too much.  Lots of girlfriends or boyfriends.  But hopefully they will get to a place in their life where there is only one girl or only one boy.  Hopefully they will come to the place where they put dating behind them and experience marriage.  On that day, there will no longer be many.  No more flirting around with others.  On that day, there will be one.  One queen.  One king.  No others.

God says that there will be a day when there is only one King, one Lord, one name.  Wait… isn’t that day already here?  After all there is only one God.  Technically that’s true.  The problem is that people like to serve their own kings and their own lords.  They like to put other people and things above God and in turn, serve them.  When will they get a clue?  If they would just understand that there is only one King that can meet their every need they wouldn’t need to bow down to many others.  If they would just understand that there is one Lord, they wouldn’t enslave themselves to the things of this world.  When will they get it?

While we sit there asking that question, I believe the Lord wants to ask us the same one.  When will YOU get it?  When will YOU make me the only king in your life?  When will YOU stop serving the false god of money, fame, and security?  When will you call on MY name like it is the only name?  Yes, when we begin pointing the finger out, the Holy Spirit points it back directly at our own hearts.  If we want a world that treats the Lord as the only God, it had better start with us.

*How many kings are you serving?

The boy king

2 Kings 11:21  Joash was seven years old when he began to reign. 

Sometimes kids think they run the show. Shoot, in some houses they do run the show.  Do you know any kids like that?  They are convinced that they are the boss, the ruler of the world.  Ya, I have a 3-year-old like that.  But she’s learning that she isn’t the boss.  Joash had a different predicament.  He had to learn to run the show.  At age seven, he became king of all the land.  Can you imagine having a child for a king?  Would you have ever thought to use a seven year old?

Well, God did.  Making Joash king was God’s idea.  Apparently He doesn’t have a problem using children for His kingdom purposes.  But we adults don’t always see the same way.  We are like the disciples that tried to keep the little ones out of the way.  But Jesus said, let the little children come to me.  He wanted to touch them, to interact with them, to give them purpose for their lives.  So why is it that so many people view children as getting in the way of ministry?  Why do we view children as an obstacle to effectiveness?

Something tells me that God doesn’t share that view.  He doesn’t subscribe to a mindset that children should be seen and not heard (some people don’t want them to be seen or heard).  He wants the little children to come to Him.  He wants to speak into their lives and shape them.  Yet churches view too many kids as a problem.  They can’t find the volunteers to babysit.  In our church, I don’t want volunteers to babysit.  I want people to partner with God’s heart and invest in our children.  You see, at the church I am a part of, one-third of the population is children.  They cannot be ignored nor should they be.  They should be loved, taught, and brought to Jesus.  Because you never know when you’ll find a little king or queen in your midst.

That promotion didn’t last long

1 Kings 16:15  In the twenty-seventh year of Judah’s King Asa, Zimri became king for seven days in Tirzah. Now the troops were encamped against Gibbethon of the Philistines. 

I am saddened by the recent events involving Josh Powell and his children.  This was a disturbed man who knew he was in trouble.  So he blew up his house with himself and his kids in it.  It’s crazy to imagine what would drive someone to do something like that, and my heart certainly goes out to the family left behind trying to deal with the aftermath.  There is a man in the Bible who committed a similar act, and his name was Zimri.  He took the kingship by force and when someone else took it back from him, he burned down his house while he was in it.

What is really interesting about this story is that the text tells us he was king for seven days.  Seven, whopping, days.  That is a short leadership stint if you ask me.  I was coordinating an event recently and was working with a contact from the venue in regards to our use of their facility.  A week went by when I learned she had been  fired.  So we started working with a new employee who was also fired a week later.  Now I am on employee number three and I hope she makes it!

Back to the point, Zimri was king… for only seven days.  That promotion certainly didn’t last long.  And do you know why it didn’t last long?  Because it was a SELF-promotion.  Self promotions don’t go far with God.  When we lift ourselves up, we get humbled.  But when we humble ourselves, He lifts us up.  Why?   Because the Lord is looking for a healthy heart posture.  He is looking for men and women who desire to serve Him and give Him the glory in their lives.  I say, “sign me up for that.”  The only kind of promotion I want is the kind that comes from the Lord.

Loyal to the royal

2 Samuel 15:19-21  19 The king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you come along with us? Go back and stay with King Absalom. You are a foreigner, an exile from your homeland. 20 You came only yesterday. And today shall I make you wander about with us, when I do not know where I am going? Go back, and take your countrymen. May kindness and faithfulness be with you.” 21 But Ittai replied to the king, “As surely as the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be.”

What can be said for Ittai the Gittite except for that he was loyal?  He was loyal to the royal, baby!  He had started working for King David just the day before and when David had to flee for his life, Ittai was willing to go with him.  He was willing to live and die with him, to follow him to the ends of the earth.  We all need someone like that in our lives don’t we?  We need someone who will stand by us and believe in us, someone who will be with us through thick and thin.  It brings comfort and security, knowing that we won’t have to navigate this life alone.

Standing in Ittai’s shoes, I wonder who can count on me?  Who can count on me through thick and thin?  Am I a good friend or do I only come around when I need something?  I have to ponder this – that there are others counting on me, too.  There is someone else that needs me.  There is someone who needs my loyalty, who needs me to be a rock in their times of trouble.  It’s not just about what I need, I also have the ability to stand with others. 

There’s one last thought that came to me when reading this passage today.  Ittai could have walked away from the king.  He was free to go and live his life.  He was under no obligation.  But he only wanted to be where the king was.  He wanted no other life, even if it would have been easier.  He was willing to take the hard road if it meant being with the king.  This is the life I desire to life.  I want to be with the KING.  No matter what may come, being in His presence will trump whatever ordinary life I might have without Him.  So like Ittai, I choose today to follow the King.  I choose to wander through life with Him, going wherever He may go.