Wednesday, June 16, 2004
The battles were horrendous. The casualties were many. But the outcome changed everything. That's a very quick summary of the final episode of J. R. R. Tolkien's classic trilogy, "Lord of the Rings." That trilogy jumped off of dusty bookshelves and into the popular culture with their portrayal in three of the most successful movies of all time. Tolkien weaves a tale of a world called Middle Earth where these soulless, subhuman beings are attempting to stamp out the "Age of Humans." Finally, in the concluding "Return of the King," Middle Earth's rightful king, Aragorn, leads the humans in one last, all-out attempt to turn back the forces of evil. After many costly battles, there's a glorious coronation day for the triumphant king. As the crown is placed on the head of the rightful ruler before this jubilant crowd of his subjects, they know the dark days are over. And the one who crowned him makes this hope-filled announcement - "Now begin the days of the King!"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Days of the King."
It might be time for that announcement in your life - that the rightful King is finally on the throne, because up until now, you've been there. Making the calls, running things your way, giving Jesus time and even money, but not the throne.
In Tolkien's "Return of the King," there's a man who is supposed to be the caretaker of the throne until the rightful ruler takes his place there. But when it comes time for the king to take the throne, the caretaker refuses to let go of it. He has to be forcibly and violently overthrown. Don't wait for that to happen to you. Jesus is the King of all kings. He is the Lord of all lords. What are you doing holding onto the throne of your life where He is supposed to reign supreme?
Our word for today from the Word of God in 1 Peter 3:15 reveals this straightforward command: "In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord." Notice it says, "in your heart." A lot of people are willing to let Christ be Lord in their head. He's the honorary chairman of their life, but they're still doing what they want to do, deciding which things Jesus can run and which things they will not let Him run. Jesus rips the mask off of that charade with His penetrating question in Luke 6:46, "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" Lord in your head, Lord in your theology, Lord in your vocabulary - that's not what "Lord" means! "Lord" is the one who is running things, and could the reality be that you are the real "Lord" of much of your life? Then you are a rebel against the only rightful King - no matter how religiously you dress up your rebellion.
Western Christianity is so often a compartmentalized faith - where you have this beautiful Jesus compartment in your life where you pray, go to His meetings, read His book, do His work. But then there are all the other compartments - how you treat people, how you spend your money, what you do on a date, what you watch, what you listen to - how you run your business, your social life, your finances. Wait a minute! What are you doing running all that anyway? Jesus paid everything He had for your life. He's not interested in a compartment! He paid the whole price - He should have the whole thing!
The original word for "Lord" literally means, "the controller." Honestly now, who's the controller in your life? If it's not Jesus, then a rebel is on the throne - His throne. And things will never be right in your life so long as you're on the throne. Today could be one of the most liberating, most decisive days of your life, if you would make this Coronation Day for the One who is the nail-scarred, death-conquering, rightful King of you. Find a place where you can bow before King Jesus today and surrender it all to Him. Where you can relinquish a throne that has cost you so much to occupy. Now, today, begin the days of The King!