I have been a believer for the majority of my life. Yet if I am honest with myself, I haven’t really let God be the King in my life. I have preferred to allow Him to be more of a democratic leader where if He agreed with my thinking, I could submit. I have allowed Him to lead, but there were other parties that I also gave influence to my life. I have let my mood and thoughts rule much of my life, despite claiming He is the King of my life.
My pastor has been talking lately about the difference between Democracy vs Kingdom and how the view impacts our perception of how things in the Christian walk should work. It got me to thinking and researching as I often do with new thoughts. I live in a democratic government. Through voting, the majority of the people’s opinions are supposed to govern the land. It is also a republic as elected officials are who truly make those decisions on our behalf. Whereas, a kingdom is generally under monarchy rule with a king or queen at the head.
In a democratic society people feel free to speak whatever is on their mind. If majority rules those with the loudest voice get heard. People are able to get their voice to the leaders, if not through direct access through communication. In a Kingdom, it is not that easy to speak out against the one who rules over you. You read in the Old Testament how Queen Esther could be killed for approaching the king without his request.
“All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days.” Esther 4:11
In a democratic government rules can be changed through voting by the republic or through popular vote. In a kingdom, you read about the decrees that were made that could not be reversed even by the king. In the testimony of Daniel being thrown into the lion’s den we see this in play. Once a rule was put in place, it could not simply be undone, even if the king didn’t want to see the rule enforced.
The king answered and said, “The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.”
So they answered and said before the king, “That Daniel, who is one of the captives[a] from Judah, does not show due regard for you, O king, or for the decree that you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.”
And the king, when he heard these words, was greatly displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him. Then these men approached the king, and said to the king, “Know, O king, that it is the law of the Medes and Persians that no decree or statute which the king establishes may be changed.”
So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. Daniel 6:12-16
Because this is not the current culture, it is hard to understand the authority, power, and finality of God’s Word. Our society has changed so much since Biblical times. There has been much progress, but there has also been a moral decline. Tolerance and political correctness have given way to lack of enforceable boundaries for those in authority. Yet God’s Word is clear about how we are to respond to authority:
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. Romans 13:1-7
I was pondering on the information above as my pastor preached today. I admit, I am still trying to understand Kingdom mentality and that God is really the final authority. I have always tried to be in control, independent, and a leader. So when my pastor preached on this more today, it really made me ponder the governing of my life. My pastor said something that really got me thinking:
In a kingdom, only one king can have dominion over a territory at a time. You have two choices in a kingdom – to submit to the authority and expand the kingdom’s territory or rebel against authority and help build another kingdom’s territory. Kingdoms are all about gaining territory. In God’s Kingdom you are either advancing His Kingdom, or advancing the kingdom of darkness.
I would love to say that I heard this message, I repented, surrendered, and now I can walk in the full power of the Kingdom of God. I don’t want to advance the darkness. Yet, if I am walking in rebellion, that is exactly what I am doing. I can not have my way and say God rules my life. I immediately felt convicted, not condemned as I know God’s grace is available, about areas in my life where I really struggle. Three quickly came to mind. Overeating – if God is King, I can surrender my appetite to Him. He already has the victory. My family – if God has dominion in my life, His Word prevails in my home. My finances – God is my provider. I am left asking “how do I change this Lord?”
Instead of walking in it, I am just in the processing mode. Processing the true revelation of what Kingdom means. Processing the conviction. Processing the change that is needed in my own life. Processing the power that is really available and how it truly could change not just my life and my family but the region I live in. I’m trying to fathom the reality of all of Kingdom advancement if just a portion of believers started walking in this truth.
I find myself wanting to dig deeper in to the Kingdom. What I do know it is that it is time for me to learn to live in a Kingdom. That I want to walk in the Kingdom of God instead of professing He is the King and walking in a Democratic mindset. Change is available. How willing am I to allow God to really do that work in my life?