Claiming honor in the presence of the king

July 6, 2009 at 6:30 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Many Christians today talk about the freedom, power, and authority they have. They talk about being bold and aggressive in their prayers. They demand things from God as they pray and command everything to obey them from the human body to the weather to demons and evil spirits.

Not only that, they talk about how they’re “anointed”, “called”, or “gifted” for the “ministry” they are doing. They use this prestige and “anointing” to lead people “into the throne room of God”, “storming the gates of heaven” to get their “vision” accomplished. They shout, yell, whoop, holler, and get red-faced when they preach or pray. Many of them strive to pack “megachurches” with thousands of seats. They preach whatever is necessary to keep people there and love to be looked on as leaders. They are happy to be sought out for advice and always have an opinion to give. They maneuver themselves into places of “power” and gain greater degrees of fame as their notoriety grows. But is this biblical? Is it right?

In Proverbs 25, we find words of wisdom written by Solomon and transcribed by the men of Hezekiah. One of the sections that caught my attention is the passage from verses 6-7:

Do not claim honor in the presence of the king, And do not stand in the place of great men; For it is better that it be said to you, “Come up here,” Than for you to be placed lower in the presence of the prince, Whom your eyes have seen.

Do not claim honor in the presence of the king. This means that it is not our decision as to whether or not we get honor. That decision belongs to the king alone. It is also not our place to try and wedge our way in between great men. We seem to think that because we’ve done something for God, we automatically get the biggest and best reward we think we deserve. Unfortunately for us, that’s not the case. As I said above, it is the king who decides. If we’re not careful, it is easy for us to get caught up in the “vision” that we have and forget that it’s not about us. I can’t help but wonder (because that’s the way that I am) if this is how the marriage supper of the Lamb will be. Jesus echoed this in Luke 14:7-11:

And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. “But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

How many will enter in to the marriage supper of the Lamb and take seats at the Lord’s table? How many will place themselves in the place of great men and claim honor for themselves? How many will be asked by Jesus to move down to a lower spot to make room for someone they never recognized as worthy of a second glance here on earth? This will be sad (if it happens). The thing is, it’s already sad because many “Christian leaders” are doing this on earth. They are putting themselves in places of power and prestige.

While they chase the fame and money and high places, others they wouldn’t even think about are doing the real work. While the “leaders” ride around or fly all over the world “preaching the gospel”, many others are out witnessing, teaching, feeding, clothing, and ushering unsaved people into the kingdom of heaven. While the “televangelists” hoard money, jets, cars, and mansions (all things they say they’re entitled to), these are everyday people who are living out lives worthy of the gospel in front of their kids, friends, family, coworkers, and complete strangers. I could name many of these people but I won’t. One reason is because it’s not something they would want, and the other reason is because I don’t have to. If you ever get to meet them, you’ll know it…

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