Hail to the King - Who Is Your King?

My loves, and others, today I will be starting a new blog/sermon series titled, ‘Hail to the King’.  In it, I will be touching on where our loyalties lie, our personal motivations and perceptions, and the role of kings in our lives.  In this series, I want to start off with one main point: that which rules us defines us and our lives.  

If you are ruled by the opinions of others, you will be defined by the opinions of others.  As in, you will define yourself by the opinions of others; and that definition will determine your actions.  You will define others by the opinions of others, as opposed to your personal experiences with that person and/or who that person actually is.  Your value and life will revolve around the opinions of others.

If you are ruled by fear, you will be controlled and defined by fear.  As in, your fear will determine your actions; and your actions will define you.  You will define others by your fears, either as your advocates or adversaries, friends or foes.  You may try to shape and control your environment in accordance with that fear.  Your life will be consumed by fear, suspicion/paranoia/cynicism, and misery.

If you are ruled by money, you will define yourself by how much you have, and others by how much they have.  As in, your value is based not on who you are as an individual, but how much money you have or can acquire.  Your actions will be dependent on the acquisition, or fearing the loss, of money.  Your definitions and treatments of others will be based on what you can acquire from them, what they have to offer.  Your life will amount to the ownership, possession, and consumption of material things.

If you are ruled by the flesh, you will be controlled by your passions and lust.  As in, your lust will motivate your perceptions of others and determine your actions; and your actions will define you.  You will define others by their appearances, your desires, and their willingness and ability to satisfy you.  It’s less about who they are, more about what they have and your release.  You will also define and estimate the value of others by their sexual exploits or lack thereof.  Your relationships will be tragically impacted by the degradation, objectification, and (possibly) exploitation of others.

The most common ruler for many is the self.  When ruled by ourselves, we determined what is right or wrong, who is right or wrong, what we want, what we can or should have.  From the beginning until the end of the day, it is about us.  We are loyal only to ourselves, and demand that others be loyal to us.  We focus on ourselves.  We represent ourselves.  We defend ourselves.  We judge ourselves and others.  We wage war on others or ourselves (self-punishment).  We work for ourselves.  We treat others as we want to treat them.  We make our own rules.  Our lives are ruled by selfishness, narcissism, pride, greed, and a multitude of other unsavory things.

“In those days there was no king in Israel.  Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” – Judges 21:25, ESV

So, what defines you?  What controls you?  What inspires you?  From whom, what, or where do your motivations come?  Who do your actions, motivations, and inspirations mostly benefit?  Where are your loyalties?  How often do you question these things?  Are you ruled by things, others, yourself, or by God?  Who is your king?

AUTHORITY

The king is the single authority and figurehead of his kingdom.  What the king says, goes.  He has dominion over the land, its goods, and its people.  All pay homage to the king.  All loyalties are to the king.  Whoever is under his authority is his responsibility.  The king is the ruler and controller.

Let’s look into the word authority.  Just searching for authority on Google, it came up with the definition: the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.

Two other definitions I’ll share from Dictionary.com are for authority: 1. the power to determine, adjudicate, or otherwise settle issues or disputes; jurisdiction; the right to control, command, or determine.  2. A power or right delegated or given; authorization.

Are the opinions of others, fear, money, lust, self, or people truly worthy of kingship, of authority?

God is our creator.  God is our Sovereign King.  Our lives and being are under the jurisdiction and authority of God the Father, and His son, Jesus.  Truly, the only control any of us have in life is our own choices, because God has granted us free will.  What we do with that free will is between us and God, the ultimate authority.  He has the authority, but He has given us the choice.

“For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.” – Psalm 74:12, KJV

“Do you not know?  Do you not hear?  Has it not been told you from the beginning?  Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?  It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.” – Isaiah 40:21-23, ESV

When we choose to give others or things authority or control over our lives, like the aforementioned opinions of others, fear, money, and flesh, that is when we have and suffer dysfunction.  When we are rebellious, and try to take authority over our own lives, that is when we have and suffer dysfunction.  People, fear, money, lust, and self are the rulers of worldly ways.  But when we submit to God the Father, and Jesus (who has been given authority over the heavens and the earth; Matthew 28:18), and His authority, that is when we have contentment, peace, and happiness.  When we accept His control, His rule of law, His determination of our destiny, and seek Him for wisdom and judgment in our actions, that is when we have contentment, peace, and happiness.

That which rules us defines us and our lives.

When you are ruled by God, and His Word, you will not be defined by the opinions of others, but by Him.  We were made in His image.  The Lord our God has already defined us as His children, His sheep, and His anointed ones.  We are precious.  By that definition, you will behave and view others.  You will value yourself and others to a greater degree.  You will value your life.

When you are ruled by God, you will not be ruled by fear, but by faith.  As in, faith in God will determine your actions or inaction.  Your trust and faith in God will free you from the paralysis of an uncertain or unfavorable outcome.  Your freedom will define you.  You will define others not as friends or foes, but companions in the journey of life that is God’s will.  You won’t attempt to control your environment or others, because you’ll have faith that God is in control.  Your life will be more content.

When you are ruled by God, you will not be ruled by money, but grace and humility.  You will live in appreciation/gratitude of what God has given you, for there is nothing you have He did not give you, and there is nothing He could not take away be it His will.  You will define yourself and others as blessed.  Your actions will no longer be dependent on the acquisition of money.  You will value others for who they are, not what they have, because all has been given according to His will.  All have been distributed different gifts according to His will and grace.  Each has his/her own inheritance according to the Father.  You will show grace to others.  Your life will be defined by giving, and gratitude.

When you are ruled by God, you will not be ruled by the flesh, but by the Spirit, love.  As in, love will motivate your perception of others and determine your actions.  You will see others and yourself through the Spirit, and not define them by their appearances, fleshly desires, and their willingness and ability to satisfy you.  It’s about who that person is, their heart, their salvation, and not about what they have and your release.  Your heart is soft and burns with compassion and love.  You will have no need or desire to define that person or estimate their value, but love them nevertheless, in spite of their perceived or suspected value.  You will care less about the physical, and more of the spiritual and emotional needs of the person and yourself.  Your relationships will be uplifting, inspiring, and full of joy and kindness.

When we deny ourselves, and accept God (Father, Son, and Spirit) as our ruler, our authority figure, our King, He determines what is right or wrong, who is right or wrong, what we want, what we can or should have.  From the beginning until the end of the day, it is about Him, and He is for us.  As the musketeers say, “All for one, and one for all.”  We are loyal only to Him, and to all of us there is peace.  We focus on Him.  He represents us.  He defends us, wages war on our enemies.  He judges us.  He works for us.  We love our neighbors as we love ourselves, as He loves us.  Our lives are ruled by the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Truly, that which rules you defines you and your life.  So what and/or who rules you?  Are you ruled by sin, the world and worldly things, or by God?  Who is your king?

CLOSING REMARKS

Choice is the matter of the hour, and it is with dire urgency that I encourage you to embrace the Lord God as your king.  Everything that is of the world is temporary, fleeting, and easily lost.  This world itself, and the life within it, is failing before our eyes as the hour of our Lord approaches.  Why be ruled by temporary things?  Why seek temporary things?  Why define our lives on temporary things?  Truly, the Lord God is everlasting; and all that is gained by devotion to the Lord is good.  Even the pains of the world, because of our dedication to Him, are rewarded in Heaven.

If you have not known God, but denied God, or turned away from Him and accepted/embraced the ways of the world/flesh (Galations 5:19-21), now is the time to seek Him out.

Pray this prayer:  My Heavenly Father, and Jesus, I am imperfect. I allow the things of this world to take authority over my mind, my heart, and my life.  I need You.  I need salvation.  Please, take control.  I give You authority over my life.  I put my life and faith in Your hands.  You are my creator.  You define me and my path.  You are my King.  Your Kingdom come.  Your will be done.  I accept your Kingship.  I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  Take hold of my life.  In Jesus’s name. Amen.

For those of you who have already accepted Christ Jesus, thank you, and be grateful, for we are truly blessed.  For He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with Him are called and chosen and faithful (Revelations 17:14, ESV).

All hail the king!

“I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever.  Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever.  Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.” – Psalm 145:1-3, ESV

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