A story recounted by John Maxwell in Leadership Gold got me to thinking. Here’s the story:
It’s said that one day Fredrick the Great of Prussia was walking on the outskirts of Berlin when he encountered a very old man walking ramrod straight in the opposite direction.
“Who are you?” Fredrick asked his subject.
“I am a King,” replied the old man.
“A king!” laughed Fredrick. “Over what kingdom do you reign?”
“Over myself,” was the proud old man’s reply.
Maxwell goes on to point out that we are each kings or queens of a monarchy: our own lives.1
The reality is that our lives at least start out more like anarchy- defiance against any kind of rule, even the rule of our own senses. We each often oppose what we know to be best in favor of the urging of the moment. We are poor self-rulers.
Even when we feel like we are in control and running the show, the best results in life remain far from reach. The pressure of being the decision maker is too much to bear when the possible loss is living and the collateral is time, neither of which is certain beyond the moment. The thief on the cross found the time, but what a waste of living in all that had happened leading him to that cross! Ananias and Sapphira must have done a lot of good and worth-while things with their time on earth, but when they made that one fateful mistake, all was lost in the blink of an eye, with no time to apologize or make up for their wrongdoing.
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. – Rom 14:17 KJV
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. – 1Cr 6:19-20 KJV
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. – Phl 2:13 KJV
We are meant for kingdom-living. These scriptures illustrate the form of self-government that leads to full living and fullness of joy. By default, I am in the driver’s seat. I can choose what to do, and God will not take that choice away. But I can give it away when I decide to navigate my life according to His will and plan.
1John C. Maxwell, Leadership Gold, Thomas-Nelson Publishers-Nashville Chapter 2, pg. 14
All scripture is from the Blue Letter Bible KJV at http://www.blueletterbible.org