What King Is On The Throne Of Your Life?
by Dr. David Brown
David Brown is the pastor of Central Baptist Church in Decatur, Illinois.
The passage we are about to read is a sad chapter in the life of the nation of Israel. That’s because it is due to a decision by the elders to lead the nation as they requested, and they got their request. Here is what we read. God had set up government for His people as a theocracy. The word theo means God and God wanted to be over His people. God wanted to be their king. God wanted to be Lord. God wanted to so govern and so direct and to so lead them in a way that they would enjoy the victories He could bring to them, and they would be able to have the kind of lifestyle that would allow God to bless them and that they would be able to go forward in the will of God.
So God wanted to be king. They requested for a human to be their king, and not God. That was the request made by the elders that we’ll read here. It was a very sad day for Samuel and its a very sad and bad decision for the leaders of the nation. From that time on a degrading will take place increasingly in the spiritual dimension.
One of the things I’ll be saying in this message is we live in a spiritual dimension of life. I know we are in a material world. I know that our bodies are material, physical. I know we see things and we’re seated on a material item. I understand that, but it is a spiritual world that saturates life itself. God is behind it. God is in charge of it. Eternal truth that we find in Bible is what governs the affairs of the universe, and not just the earth, but the universe at large. We are spiritual people and this is a spiritual kingdom that we live in. Here they are saying, “We want to entrust our leadership and care to a human king.” God is saying, “They can’t do what I can do,” and certainly that is true. They are saying, “We want to move God off the throne and put a man in that position.”
It created an incredible amount of problems for a nation that was called God’s peculiar people, a nation that was entrusted with the oracles of God, which is an expression that means simply the Word of God would be brought to the world through these special chosen people, called Israel. God would put them in a very prosperous location geographically on the face of the earth. Many would say that could be called the center of the earth. It is a land that the Bible says God’s eyes were upon it from the start of the day to the close of the day. God had so endowed that part of the world with prosperity of so many kinds. That’s where He is going to put the nation of Israel. God was going to lead them, because they were going to be the mouthpiece of God to the rest of the nations.
Because of that we find there is an effort satanically to take God off the throne and replace Him with a human person who is fallible, who doesn’t know the left hand from the right, who possesses a sinful nature that is really going to be a corrupting aspect as far as feathering one’s own interest, rather than caring for the nation. Of course, that’s what did happen. That’s what brought about their demise eventually and their dispersion in the world all around.
The message has one theme, and that is each of us who now belongs to the Lord through grace that was found at the cross, each of us that has been birthed into the family of God by the redemption found in the only Saviour in this world. Each of us that has found our name written in that Lamb’s Book of Life that is going to be there eternally, permanently, forever, each of us has been given the privilege now to choose which king is going to be on the throne of our life, whether it will be the slave master, Satan, or whether it will be the liberating, prospering Master, Jesus Christ. That’s what has been made available to God’s people once they get born into God’s family. We are free to make that choice. Until freedom comes and salvation comes, the choice is out of our hands. We all started off in that kingdom of darkness. But if you are a born-again child of God, you now have that choice.
Having prepped the sermon with that backdrop, let’s take a look at our verses, I Samuel 8:1-7. “And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel. Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba. And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment. Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.”
What a statement! What a sad day! Let’s bring out the clouds. Let’s shut down the brilliant sun. Let’s make the music sound with a minor refrain. Let’s recognize what they have done to themselves, something that will undermine their footsteps, their future, their prosperity, their understanding of Bible truth in the way of God. All of that has been compromised and will continue to face that kind of conclusion and direction in life.
God says in a very sad statement, “...they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” We never want to be found in that same position, that same spirit, that same kind of attitude. We want to be those who recognize that the only real Master who cares for my soul, who knows the future and who controls the future and who can lead me according to the way of God into the good life, out of the pitfalls of life, is the Lord Jesus. He’s the Great Shepherd. He is the kind Master. He is the King. According to the Scripture, He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, and He is the only Potentate. He is the power.
God has given us a freedom of will to every person and we can reject Him from being our King. We must understand we’ve opened the door even though we’ve not invited the other master, the task master, the evil one to come in, but he still comes in. He somehow finds a way to make himself that king in a person’s life. Some people it’s more evident than other people, but that is what happens.
God told Samuel to go ahead and give them their request. Look in verse 10. “And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.” God also said to Samuel, “Tell the people what it’s going to be like when they have a man over them as king.” Notice here in verse 11-15, “And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.”
Does that sound like a government to you? I’d like to go back to just 10%! It almost sounds like an incredible overlay advanced about 30 centuries. It sounds like we are talking about what happens whenever man becomes the government over the people. Unless there is a spirituality of the man who is over the people, the people will not fare very well. This isn’t a political message, but may I say, we should vote for the person who knows the Lord and follows His way into offices that will rule over us. I don’t care if it’s the dog catcher or the mayor. I don’t care if it is the city council or the President of the United States. We want somebody over us who knows the Book and knows the God of the Book. That’s when benevolence is going to be applied and the feathering of one’s nest lessened considerably, where one looks out for the people rather than let the people look out for them.
It says they are going to take a tenth of your seed. Verse 16 says, “And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.” Now God’s plan was for Himself to be king. Nobody is going to be as benevolent as God. Nobody is going to love you like God loves you. Nobody is going to have your best interest at heart like God does. Nobody is going to know the future. Nobody will know how to get you through the wilderness. Nobody is going to know how to maneuver you through these land mines in life. Nobody knows how to get you around a mountain, through a valley, over a gulf. Nobody knows how to do that like God knows.
Nobody else is going to care for your life like God cares. God is a real and living God and He wants to be a part of you in a real, living way. God wants to have a hands-on operation in your life. That never, ever happens until we’ve made Him our Master.
That doesn’t mean we become a slave to Him, but rather, we become liberated by Him. We’ve got to be sure we are careful with our words because our understanding of the words ‘slave’ and ‘master’ sometimes gives us the wrong picture of how it is Biblically when God becomes your Master and you become His servant. Jesus said, “You’re not just my servant; henceforth I’m going to call you My friend.” He who died for us, it looks to me like He really was the Ultimate Servant, not me. It looks to me like He paid the ultimate price that I might be liberated, not me. He did it all for us.
When we understand who it is that is asking to be our Master and King, we can understand what it is He will accomplish in our life. It’s going to be something good, something that will better us, something that will take us forward, something that will take us out of the muck and mire and put us on a higher plane, somebody who can extricate us from the damage that the wrong master and sin has brought into our life. Our Lord knows how to take the keys of truth and unlock the chains that bind us. The Lord knows how to take us from that dark cavern chamber that has imprisoned us away from the good out there; He knows how to unlock that and take us into the bright, brilliant light of Bible truth, so that we can wear the doctrines of Christ and be enriched personally, and at the same time, we enrich everybody else who is associated with us. It’s a win, win situation. Only God can do that. But God will not do that without our choice, because He has so designed it that He only has hands-on operation by our permission and our choosing Him to be Master.
Think about this with me. In the garden of Eden, God was King. God was God. God was Lord. Satan talked Eve into believing that it wasn’t a good arrangement and that she needed to be like God and that God had lied to her, and that she needed to be her own master. The problem came whenever she accepted and believed his lie, she stepped into the noose of the devil through his deception and suddenly she lost the light. She lost the relationship, and Adam as well, following in like suit. The end result was they were put into the kingdom of darkness. Satan became their master. They became slaves to sin and life became hard – the thorn, the thistle, the sweat of the brow, pain, sorrow, and difficulty. God came right on the heels of that decision promising salvation, redemption, making it possible to be extricated now from sin’s enslavement, and making possible the forgiveness that could come through the blood of the Lamb, lest they go to a devil’s Hell after this life is over; and at the same time giving them liberty and freedom to choose now who will be their master. What a wonderful thing. God still does not force it upon those whom He redeems and saves and gives them the gift of eternal life. He still leaves it to their decision. Who will they choose to be their master?
After we’ve been liberated and we have freedom to make a choice, if we don’t choose to make Christ our Master, we defer back to the one who will re-enter that life and will continue to be manipulative and mastering over that life, a life that now belongs to the Lord and should not be enslaved to that kind of an arrangement. That’s one of the reasons why, folks, spiritual growing, going forward, letting your life get rooted in Christ, letting yourself discover the enriching truths of this Book and beginning to develop a relationship with the Lord is so essential. Because unless that happens, what God has planned for one’s life will never come to pass. It’s crucial. It’s critical.
Now you think with me. When the Lord Jesus comes back in the Millennium, guess who is going to be King? Guess who is going to be thrown in the pit? Guess who is going to reign upon the throne in Jerusalem? It will be the Lord, when He sets up His kingdom. Do you know who is going to be King when the eternal age comes? It’s going to be Jesus Christ. I should say it’s going to be God. We have this little space of time. We call time the earth life. We discover that God is behind all life. He is the Creator. We discover all these things that are on-going that have to do with evil and righteousness, unholiness, and holiness, immorality, morality, and we discover that there are two opposite poles. We say, “Well, I guess that’s what the Bible says too.” We discover that there is all of this that is ongoing and that God Almighty wants to come into peoples’ life because, unless He does, they have no hope past this life. All they have is gloom and doom on the agenda.
Turn to Ephesians 2, and I want you to see with me an expression of what we just said. Ephesians 2:1 says, “And you hath he quickened,...” The word quickened means made alive, and that has to do with our dead spirit being made alive and the salvation of our Saviour. That has to do with God the Father birthing our spirit into the family of God. That has to do with life. That has to do with God taking over where death was and putting life there in its place. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;...” Isn’t that something? Isn’t that amazing? I once was dead; now I’m alive in Jesus Christ. That’s amazing.
It goes on to describe how my life was in the past. “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air,...” It’s no wonder that the lost world has all these worldly fads and behaviors and activities that are against the Book, because the thing is, the world is walking according to the course of the prince of the power of the air. That’s Satan. It goes on to say in verse two, “...the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” That’s talking about the human race, the evil spirit, working in their lives to make them disobedient to the real King and to the right way.
It goes on to say in verse 3, “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past...” That is our lifestyle in the past, before we got saved and God changed us, that’s where we were, too. “...in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” We’ve been taken out of the gutter, folks, and placed up on a higher plain. That’s the idea of being taken out of the muck and mire and being set upon a rock. We’ve been placed in a spiritual place, and if we’ll allow God to be King, we don’t have to fall back into the gutter. We don’t have to fall back into the highways and byways of the devil’s leading, but we can live our lives on this higher plain that God sets us on.
It says in verse 7, “That in the ages to come...” That’s talking about beyond this life. “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” The best is yet to come, folks. It is pretty good right now, but it is not to be compared with what is to come. It’s just a foretaste.
Verse 10 says, “For we are his workmanship,...” That is the believer in Christ, the saved, the redeemed. We are His workmanship. When you talk about somebody who is working on their project, we are the project. God is the workman. We are His workmanship. If we’ll let Him be Master, He’ll carve into us a likeness of God Himself, of Christ Himself, in our image and we’ll be taken from one image, the devil’s, to another image, the Lord. God changes us. The process from here to here is a process of many different changes taking place. The old leaves and the new replaces it. That’s the process. Don’t stop the process short of God’s finished product. We have a free will. We can step out of God’s working, or we can let God keep on working, keep on changing, keep on carving, keep on crafting, and God can continue to be the workman and we His workmanship. God is going to make us so that, in the end result, it says we are, “...created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Good works, right works, the things that are acceptable.
It’s not only wrong to not allow Christ to be King over your life; it is also very detrimental to your life. If Christ does not become your Lord by your choice, Satan will re-enter your world by force. He’s been chased off, when you got saved. He’s been banished from the throne of being king in your life. The Lord says, “Now, my child, you can choose who will be your king?” If we refuse to let the Lord operate as Master, Satan will re-enter that life. Do you ever wonder why there is so much crime, how much crime and violence and domestic abuse there is today? I’ll tell you why. Satan is king is those settings. Do you wonder why drugs and alcohol destroy like they’ve never done before in our nation’s history? Because Satan is king in those areas. Do you wonder why 50 million babies have been murdered? Because Satan is king in those lives who chose to abort. That is one every 24 seconds in America. Do you wonder why our prisons are over capacity? Because Satan has been king in people’s lives. That’s what he brings.
Here are some statistics. In 1962, 72% of couples living together were married. In 2011, it had dropped from 72% to 51% is all that was married. They say that is dropping more and more where we have less legally married couples living together, and it won’t be long before we’ll have less than half married who are living together. Why is that happening? I’ll tell you why. Satan is king. It’s become acceptable. It’s become popular. It’s become ‘okay’ and society doesn’t see anything wrong with it like they used to, because the moral standard of this Bible used to be honored and believed and practiced.
God has an order and a plan and only if He is Master will that plan ever unfold for your life personally. Please mark it down. When Satan is master, he brings bad things to your life. He knocks out opportunities God had for you. He closes doors for you that would be good for you to go through. He makes it so that life becomes a tangled mess. You say, “Who in the world could ever work this thing out for me?” The answer is that only the Lord can. We look every which way we can and finally we look up. God can make the difference for us if we’ll let Him.
The problem is America, and Americans, are leaving God out of the picture. America, where she has left God out of the picture, things have gone down the toilet into the cesspool and created a situation that is devastating to our nation’s future and to the prosperity of its citizenry. Until it changes, we’ll never come out of that cesspool, because only God elevates; Satan always pushes you down and flushes you into that corruption. We’ve just got to have our eyes open and look at the big picture. We’ve got to see how it is. We get so close to the forest, that we can’t see the trees. We get so tunnel vision in our own appetites being satisfied and our own world trying to be worked out, but somehow we forget that God wants to be in charge instead of us, instead of other elements we don’t consider that are at work in our life, the spirit of disobedience working disobedience in our lives. That is what’s going on.
We are spiritual beings living in a physical vessel. We are living under God’s spiritual laws whether we know it or not that govern the affairs of life. Surrounding us are spirit beings, fallen angels, and Godly angels that are at work around us that we cannot see. We need God’s spiritual guidance in our life to compete successfully in that kind of setting. Morality is a clean spiritual lifestyle on purpose. Honesty and truth telling is a spiritual behavior. Sexual purity is spiritual. Loyalty to your spouse is a spiritual accomplishment. Kindness and respect to each other is being spiritual.
You can’t do any of these things, and I could have a list that would be from my finger to my elbow of things that we call spiritual behavior, that can only be done by spiritual assistance from God above. The spiritual life is what gives me quality of life and the spiritual life is what gives other people associated with me a quality life as well. So I am a spiritual being in a spiritual world even though it has a material connection to it at the present. If I can see that, I can understand why I need grace, why I need a walk with Him, why I need Him to enlighten my way, why I need for Him to help me in times of trials and troubles. I just need for the Lord to be an active part of my life.
Only the Lord can save from a devil’s Hell. Only Christ can bring the abundant life. Only Christ can direct us into the will of God. Only Christ can fulfill Philippians 4:13, Romans 8:28, or whatever passage you want to talk about. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” It is a spiritual strength for a spiritual life that God has asked me to live. When you think about it, it is more than just living a physical life and fulfilling the appetites of the old fallen nature. It is a spiritual life that must be in command and in charge. The physical is what the devil works with to keep me living on the wrong side of the tracks from the abundant life God Almighty wants to give me. If the Lord becomes a central part of my life and I choose consciously to make Him Master, then He will take me from here to here, and every step of the way is another movement upward into the goodness of God, if I’ll just let Him do that.
If I can trust the Lord to save my soul, can’t I trust Him to help me in this life? Salvation is a spiritual gift that came at a spiritual price that our Saviour paid. Now life in the present is to be a spiritual life lived in the strength of the Lord and letting Him be the benevolent Master, a loving Master, a kind Master, a providing Master. If I’ll let Him, how much richer will my life be. It’s a choice that we make. If we don’t choose to make Him Master, somehow the devil subtly re-enters that life and weaves a continuation of his evil work, denying us the goodness of God. That’s why wisdom should prevail and we decide make the Lord our Master.
I want to show you how it all ends. Turn to Revelation 19. Let’s take a quick glimpse at the last book and how it ends. Revelation 19:11-16 says, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” Folks, we are talking about a spiritual dimension we’ve never seen before. We say, “This sounds like some kind of archaic language that doesn’t make sense.” Folks, let me tell you something. On the other side, there are things you’ve never seen before and if you were able to step across, it would make a whole lot more sense. It goes on to say concerning Christ, “His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron:...” You see, He really is the right King. “...and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.”
Look over to Revelation 20:10-15. “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.” I think that is talking about when the earth itself then is burned up by fire and the heavens and all the galaxies are burned up and they are gone.
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” These are the people that are experiencing the second resurrection. The saved are part of the first resurrected group. That is an event that took place earlier, but the second resurrection is only for the lost, and that is who is standing here.
It says that every man was judged according to their works. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” You may hee-haw if you want to, but that is Bible, and God is going to see to it that the passage we just read some day will be the event fulfilled.
If we would be wise, we would stop thinking from the natural perspective. We would start listening to the supernatural information that this Book gives us. If we would be wise, we would want to be a part of what God is a part of, and start by getting saved and then decide we are going to stick and grow. We are going to be rooted and go forward. We are going to be God’s people from now on. If would be wise, we would decide that we are going to learn what is in this Book and learn how to live what the Book says. This world is dark. Satan is involved. There are all kinds of problems, and only God knows how to maneuver us through all that. If we will be wise, we’ll let Him be Master of our life. He won’t take that position against our will, He waits for us to choose Him as our Master, the King who occupies the throne in our hearts. We need what God’s got for us right now.