Self Rule

“God is a gentleman.” I was taught that years ago, and it is so true. In this life, God never forces anyone to bow and worship Him. He put pressure on Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, and others to serve His purposes, but if they ever worshiped, it was their choice. We are all monarchs of our own life kingdoms. Self rule, or free will, is a universal privilege and a sobering responsibility.

Self rule is sobering because it is a detour that human lives have taken. We like it and fight to keep it because we know nothing else. But it is not what we were designed for. God created humans to be dependent on Him as children are on parents. We rebelled because we did not believe that God wanted the best for us. Our rebellion was the establishment of pathetic little kingdoms with ramshackle mind-castles and mini moats—overvalued real estate. Only when we realize how priceless a relationship with God is are we ready to surrender our thrones to Him. God is a gentleman; He abides by the etiquette of heaven. Only when the kings and queens of earth give Him favor and find pleasure in Him does He make His request. He asks us to let Him rule again.

Mary gave up her throne. Gabriel explained God’s will for her and she bowed in surrender even though it all seemed so strange and impossible. “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

In Gethsemane, Jesus surrendered His will to the Father’s will even though it meant agony and death. “Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from me; yet not My will, but Thine be done.” (Luke 22:42)

In a sense, faith is giving permission to God to run our lives. Like Mary, Jesus, and so many others, we need to trust that God’s will is the very best for us even if we do not understand it. Uncertainty and hardship can both be faced in surrender and faith. Jesus learned obedience through what He suffered (Heb. 5:8) because the choice to suffer showed who ruled on the most costly and sensitive throne of His life. Suffering demanded everything to be laid down. It required His utmost obedience. He made that choice because He knew the nature of His Father. He knew Father had the very best outcome planned. Jesus’ obedience led to the glory of the resurrection.

Let’s get off the detour we are on. Take God at His word—that He is utterly good and His will is good. Trust David, “In Thy presence is fullness of joy; in Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.” (Ps. 16:11) So, give up self rule; align with the King of kings.

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