Our Kingdom vs. God’s Kingdom: Why we struggle to rule.

Those in bondage to sin and unsaved tend to reject submission to authority because they see it as a loss of their freedom, telling themselves they have all they need to live their lives on their own terms. When we are committed to our sin we are committed to the Kingdom of self and not the Kingdom of God. That selfishness substantiates them making their own rules and promoting their own narrative. That self-seeking and self-gratifying gravitation to sin blinds them from other possibilities as they seek to fulfill their desires, goals, choices, and feelings, thus proclaiming their Kingdom of self.

What do you think causes us to become envious, jealous, or angry toward others? Envy and jealousy are byproducts of comparing ourselves to others and wanting what they have. Anger and frustration stem from not getting our way when someone disagrees with us, or we are getting caught in a lie – self-rule. We struggle to gain the throne of our own Kingdom. We struggle in these emotional and spiritual areas because accomplishing our agenda is the most important goal of ruling our Kingdom.

Much of our inner turmoil in our interpersonal struggles directly results from sin. Sin causes us to live inwardly directed, self-seeking, and self-serving lives when we were created to live a life that is heavenly, and worship-focused putting our eyes on Jesus, as well as other-focused, outwardly engaging with others in a loving relationship.

So, if Jesus came to be Savior, he also had to come to be King. Jesus had to rescue us from our bondage to our little kingdoms of one and usher us into his Kingdom of loving authority and forgiving grace. He came to destroy our kingdoms of self and dethrone that part of us that is in direct rebellion with his glorious creation. In a violent, painful, humbly surrendered act of grace, he works to destroy every last shred of our allegiance to self-rule, and in his humble, compassionate, empathetic rescuing grace he lovingly sets up his righteous rule in our hearts. In grace, he patiently works with us until we finally understand that we are no longer slaves to sin but a friend of Jesus. His righteousness makes us righteous. His holiness makes us holy.

The infant in the Manger was the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the one we were created to love, worship, serve, honor, and glorify. Ordinarily, the death of a conquering King is the end of the story. But this King came to conquer the sin in our life by dying for each of us, sharing his victory with us, and establishing his reign over our lives. This is love. This is compassion. This is grace. This is mercy; the King died to dethrone the idols, sin, and false kings in our lives so that he would be our King forever and ever and ever.

The baby wasn’t wearing a crown, wrapped in fine cloth, or adorned with jewels, yet its royalty, righteousness, and holiness were a miraculous inward expression of an outward manifestation of the glory of heaven on earth. He came to be King, and his kingship is your Salvation.

Matthew 6:19-21 NIV, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth) where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Next Steps

Did you read our verses for today? As you think about all that Matthew shared, where our attention, priorities, and worship should be, what comes to mind about your own priorities?

  • Take out your journal and make two columns – self and others.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you struggle with self-rule and areas where you are focused on others in love and grace.

As we read, anger and frustration stem from self-rule. The Holy Spirit is gentle, kind, and loving in leading you to look at areas of your heart where Jesus desires to enter, bring understanding, heal, and transform. Take a moment with God, and be comforted by the fact that you are deeply loved and priceless; so much so that Jesus died for you. Wouldn’t you want to be completely ruled by such a divine and glorious love?