This Wednesday, one of our pastoral interns, Aaron, shares a message titled Vassaldom about living under a king. For 99% of those of us, a President is the only form of leadership we’ve ever lived under. It’s the system of government that we grew up with, that we were taught in school, that talk radio and news talk about non-stop. The problem with this is in makes it harder for us to truly understand God as King.
On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. /// Revelation 19:16 (ESV)
The Bible makes clear that Jesus is the King of Kings. He’s not the president of presidents or the parliament of the parliaments, he’s not the emperor of emperors or the chieftain of chieftains, He is the KING. And if you’re a believer who has been saved by Jesus, you’ve pledged your life to this King, but we don’t know anything at all about what it means to live under the rule of a king. What vassaldom means, loosely, is the state of living under a king; the state of being subservient to an absolute authority. So let’s look at a few things that are different when you have a King.
THE KING’S WORD IS LAW
Things work differently with Kings than they do with Presidents when it comes to their word. The King doesn’t make suggestions, he issues commands and as his vassals, as followers who have pledged ourselves to the king and who live in his kingdom, it’s our duty to follow them.
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you… /// Matthew 5:44 (ESV)
THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES FOR DEFYING THE KING
Nobody likes the word consequences but it’s a fact of life. There’s a very real danger that we fall into when we become saved. We’ll do this thing anytime we do something wrong, we’ll just say the word GRACE really loudly and think that it shields us from suffering any sort of consequences. Yes, we have the amazing gift of grace, and we serve a merciful king, but it doesn’t mean I am free of spiritual consequences when I defy the king.
The Bible is filled with examples of this. David defied the laws of God when he committed adultery then helped get a man murdered. Did God accept David’s heartfelt repentance and continue to use him? Yes, he did. Did David have to suffer some harsh consequences for defying the law of God? Yes, he did. Not only did David and Bathsheba’s baby die, but the Lord spoke this over him too.
“Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’” /// 2 Samuel 12:10-12 (ESV)
David’s time as king up to this point hadn’t been full of peace, but it had been full of victory. Every enemy that came against him and his kingdom fell. But after his sins, after this defiance where he didn’t uphold the law of the one true King, David’s life became a whole lot different. It was heavier, filled with strife and struggle. That was a direct spiritual consequence to his unGodly actions. We do ourselves a major disservice by not talking about spiritual consequences more often, because they are very real. We serve a King who has made clear to us his expectations, and when we don’t uphold them, when we defy his written law, yes, there are consequences.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. /// Philippians 4:6
The written law of the King, right there. Don’t stress over anything, don’t be anxious. Pray about it and give it to God. What’s the consequence of stress and anxiety? Heart problems, depression, high blood pressure, stroke, just to name a few. Very real consequences.
A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot. /// Proverbs 14:30
Envious people tend to feel hostile, resentful, angry and irritable. Jealous people are less likely to feel grateful about their positive traits and their circumstances, so jealousy is also robbing them of being able to enjoy the good things in their life. Envy is related to depression, anxiety, the development of prejudice, and personal unhappiness. Again, very real consequences. Instead of looking up at the sky when things aren’t going so well and angrily asking “Why are you letting this happen to me” we need to start spending more time looking into the mirror and asking ourselves the same question.
In Galatians 5 we learn that if we’re living a life in harmony with the King, then we will experience the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Since that is true and these are the consequence of living in harmony with the King, then the opposite has to be true. That means if we aren’t experiencing these things in our lives, then it is a consequence of some disharmony between us and the King. And since the King is perfect, it’s always our fault. God’s never wrong. Everyone say that out loud once. God’s never wrong. That means that if there’s a disconnect between us and God, it’s always on our side.
It’s interesting that we’ve lost our ability as a culture to accept fault for things. When the dude tried to iron his shirt while he was wearing it and he got burned, guess whose fault it was? Apparently the iron manufacturer, because they didn’t put a warning on the box telling him to remove his shirt before pressing a hot piece of metal against it. We, as believers and vassals, have to get to a place where we freely and regularly accept responsibility for our actions. Because if we can’t stay in a position of humility and self-reflection, then we’re not going to catch the small issues before they turn into major issues. We’re not gonna catch the wayward glance before it turns into the affair. We’re not gonna catch the negative thought before it turns into rebellion and defiance. And when these things turn into major issues, they have major spiritual consequences.
In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. /// 2 Samuel 11:1
So looking back at David in 2 Samuel, we see some very uncharacteristic behavior. He was always in the will of God, always on the front lines, always living in obedience. Maybe he was depressed or in his own head, but we don’t truly know. If David had gotten before God at this moment and taken responsibility for the mistake he had made by staying at home instead of going to war, the spiritual consequence probably would’ve been minimal. He would’ve gathered up his armor, and joined his men on the battlefield, where he was supposed to have been all along.
It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. /// 2 Samuel 11:2
David wasn’t in the palace working hard, he wasn’t up there praying, he wasn’t tending to matters of state, David was having some “me time” chilling on the couch while his army was off fighting a war. And when he finally gets up, he sees something he never should’ve been home to see. And now, presented with another change to go before God and take responsibility for the small mistakes, they glance at Bathsheba snowballs into deeper sin to the point of murder. Defying the King carries consequences, which is why it’s so important to recognize these places of defiance, rebellion, and sin in ourselves. The world needs us at our best, and we’re not at our best when we’re having to work through miles and miles of spiritual consequences that we’ve brought upon our own lives. David was never again at his best after this moment in his life. God was still with him, and still used David, but David’s life after all this mess was not the same as it had been before.
True repentance can’t exist without you taking true responsibility for your actions. God can work with that, and if you’ll keep an attitude of self-reflection you’re going to find that your time spent suffering spiritual consequences is going to lessen greatly.
THE BIG RESPONSIBILITIES REST ON THE SHOULDERS OF THE KING
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. /// John 14:27
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. /// Psalm 46:1
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” /// Isaiah 41:13
Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. /// Psalm 55:22
The Bible is very clear that God is our refuge, shield, and protector, has unending peace and is fully in control of every single thing. The problem is that just because we know it’s true doesn’t mean we live within that truth. Almost every person will agree that a life of faith isn’t always easy. If you’re truly within the will of God and living for Him, the amount of chaos and troubles and hardships that can befall you is staggering. However, the presence of trouble in your life does not signify the absence of God in your life. A lot of times it’s just life, and a lot of times it’s the enemy doing whatever they can to slow down a mighty warrior of God. God’s mightiest followers, His most effective ones in the Bible, their lives were filled with troubles and trials. And learning to keep giving those troubles to God, to truly pass them off and get them off your shoulders, that’s a lifelong pursuit.
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever. /// Psalm 29:10
God’s not blind to the circumstances of our lives, and the King remains enthroned no matter the circumstances of our lives. Breathe easy. That’s God’s message for you here tonight. The big responsibilities rest on the shoulders of the king. He’s dad, and we’re the kids. He’s got a few chores for us, you know, we take out the trash sometimes, do the dishes, but dad’s got the mortgage covered. Dad’s dealing with the car trouble, that’s not for the kids to worry about. Breathe easy and know that the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
THE KING CAN PRESS ANYONE HE WANTS INTO SERVICE (AND HE CHOOSES YOU)
A very common question we share as believers is “how do I know what God wants me to do with my life?” or “how do I find out what my calling is?” It’s called the great commission.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. /// Matthew 28:19-20
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” /// Matthew 22:36-39
The King’s authority is absolute and with that authority he has commissioned you into His service. Make disciples, teach people about God, love God with all of our being, and love other people. It is a universal, undeniable command, and if you’re not serving in some capacity, you’re not living in alignment with what your King has told you to do. True joy and purpose can only be found when we’re living a life of service. The next time you’re not feeling as much joy or purpose or fulfillment, examine your schedule and see how much time you’re spending serving others. You were made to serve, and when you make your life all about serving others, that’s when you start to really see the truth of what Jesus meant when he said life more abundantly.
As you all probably gathered here tonight, the main takeaway from life with a King is that the King’s rule is absolute. He directs, we follow. Your King’s love for you knows no bounds and cannot be defined with human words. His every direction will ultimately be to your benefit, His heart never turns against you, and He will never, ever lead you astray. Our King is perfect, and there’s no greater honor in existence than to serve him.
- Revelation 19:16 (ESV)
- Matthew 5:44 (ESV)
- 2 Samuel 12:10-12 (ESV)
- Philippians 4:6
- Proverbs 14:30
- 2 Samuel 11:1-2
- John 14:27
- Psalm 46:1
- Isaiah 41:13
- Psalm 55:22
- Psalm 29:10
- Matthew 28:19-20
- Matthew 22:36-39
Check us out and share us with your family & friends!