This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you (John 15:12).
How does a Christian find freedom from the “kings” of this earth? For starters, we recognize that we are made free by the blood of Jesus Christ. The grace of God (the favor of God) provides us with all things necessary to overcome all destructive powers in this world.
The Grace of God Teaches Us
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (Titus 2:11-12).
You might remember something Jesus teaches. If we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains. The mountain symbol is used to represent earthly powers and kingdoms in the scriptures. With faith in Jesus and the power of His grace towards us, there is no mountain we cannot remove.
Sometimes great mountains are cast into the sea in an instant, as Jesus teaches. Sometimes we have to ascend these mountains with strength from the Lord, learning and growing as we traverse the rocky terrain and overcome obstacles. Though hard, we will reach the top. We will overcome these “kings” because Jesus is faithful and He has promised it. That is our faith.
The Problem with Kings
We are given power to overcome through the Son, Jesus. If we love Jesus, then we love the Father also. If we love the Father and the Son, then we want to be pleasing to God. We will want to keep the commandments of God—and this is His commandment—that we love one another.
The problem with “kings” is this: they love themselves, they love this world, and they hate the true things of God.
The tricky part is when these “kings” appear to be of God. “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” They can quote the scripture. They can even speak of love—yet without revelation from Jesus—we don’t even know what love really means. Man’s ideas of love are self-gratifying, mingled with lust, and confused by the deceptiveness of sin in general.
You might consider some of the “kings” mentioned in the last article. Are these “kings” placing the love of Jesus and of the brethren first? What comes first are their ideas about what is true or best for others, not what Jesus really teaches. What comes first are their bank accounts, their status, their personal and career agendas, their pride. What comes first is themselves.
It’s so easy to see the “kings” that rule others. It’s so easy to blame the “kings” for doing that which is only in their nature to do. What’s most productive is to look at our own wrong doings and face the “kings” of our own hearts. With “kings” reigning over us, we are serving a master other than Jesus, and very often that master is sin and self. So, let’s not worry so much about what this world is doing and instead focus on Jesus. Let our “eye be single” so that our “whole body is full of light.”
Come into the Light of Jesus with Confidence
And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming (1 John 2:28).
Here’s the thing. All of us have a self-serving nature to greater and lesser degrees. With the understanding that Jesus is faithful and He is gracious to fulfill His promises to us by “giving us all things that pertain to life and godliness,” then we have confidence to enter into the dark places of our hearts. We have the confidence to look at ourselves honestly. We have the confidence to know that no matter how big our “kings” are, the love of Jesus will not depart from us—but will guide us and strengthen us—so that we can overcome these “kings.”
I write to those who have the love of Jesus. Many claim to love Jesus, but it will be revealed that they do not. There is no love of God in many professing the faith. However, if you’re reading this, then do not consider yourself as one who God does not love. Know there are those out there, but there is nothing good that can come from assuming this of ourselves. Respect God. Respect the sacrifice of the Son. Put your trust in Him.
In any case, to think that we are greater than these “kings” is to deceive ourselves. To think that we are not capable of fulfilling all the undesirable sides of Jesus’s parables is to deceive ourselves. In-fact, most of us have at some point.
At some point in our Christian walk, we have been like one who receives the knowledge of the Lord on stony ground or among thorns. At some point we have had the “kings” of this earth take the good things Jesus teaches and snatch it away. At some point we have been a sort of foolish virgin with no oil in their lamp. At some point we have resembled tares instead of wheat. At some point we have gone astray or begun to bury our talent in the earth.
Facing our potential for denying the things of Jesus and looking to “kings” instead is not pleasant, but it is powerful. Why?
The truth will make us free.
How can we be freed from “kings” if we do not recognize our captivity, or at least have an appreciation for our human nature that is so prone to following these “kings?”
Jesus is light, and in Him is no darkness, right? If we step into Jesus—if we step into the light—we will see all manner of sin. We will see the “kings” within ourselves. We will also see the “kings” of this earth so that we can avoid them.
Also know that we are not alone. All things we struggle with are common among our brothers and sisters in Christ. Once we overcome our “kings,” we have those “beams removed” from our eyes. We can then help others. We should seek to our own salvation and grow in freedom through Jesus so that we can be useful for establishing His everlasting kingdom. Then, when Jesus returns, we will not be ashamed or cast out of His presence.
Again, it all comes down to the commandment of Jesus. We should love God with all our might, and we should love one another.
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets (Matthew 22:36-40).
If we love Jesus with all our might, we are in His light. If we are in His light, then we learn what love really means. If we learn what love really means, then we see that there is no love in these “kings.” We find freedom from them.
Again, finding freedom from these “kings” can be a long and tedious process. Like climbing a mountain, it takes time, energy, and a lot of work. There will be obstacles. There will be forces working against us, especially if the mountain is very tall and dangerous. Unlike ascending Mt Everest, however, we have an unshakable assurance and confidence found in the One who will ensure our success—so keep climbing.
Keep striving and one day, Jesus will return and all “mountains and islands are moved out of their places.” All of the “kings of the earth” will fear before the Son of God. We will be victorious over them, and we ourselves will be appointed as kings and priests unto God.
And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth (Revelation 5:9-10).
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