How to lose a kingdom

Pastor Ray Stedman writes:

First Kings is the gripping story of how to lose a kingdom. As we read these Old Testament books, the key to making them live and be vital in our lives is to see that they are visual aids by which God is showing us what is going on in our own lives. We can see ourselves in every one of these Old Testament stories and when we do, the words take on eyes and look at us. We discover that the words are aimed exactly and directly at us. The view that the Bible gives of man is that every one of us is intended to be a king over a kingdom. The whole purpose of the Lord Jesus coming into our lives, which is the theme of the book of Romans, is that we might learn how to reign over the kingdom of our lives in God — given authority and victory. It is this that makes human life full and complete and fascinating when we learn to walk in God’s power. One of the overworked phrases constantly bandied about in Christian circles is “the victorious Christian life.” Unfortunately that has been abused, distorted, twisted, and perverted so many times that it has lost much of its meaning for us. But if you take it in the freshness of its original intention, that is exactly what God has in mind for you — to learn how to walk in victory as a kink over the kingdom of your life and thus find its intended fulfillment. That is exactly what these books of the Old Testament illustrate for us, especially the books dealing with the monarchy in Israel.

God called aside the nation Israel; he marked it out as his own people. He made, in a sense, a stage of the little land of Israel. He bid the whole world to look upon that nation. What went on in that land is a portrayal of what is going on throughout the whole course of human history, and individually going on in each of our lives. If we see these books like this, they take on a tremendously intense meaning and purpose in our lives.

The book of 1 Kings holds the secret of success in reigning over the kingdom of your life. It is the secret of learning to be submissive to the authority and dominion of God in your own life. In other words, man can never exercise dominion over his life unless he first subjects himself to the dominion of God. If you yield to God’s dominion, you are given reign over the areas in your own life. On the other hand, if you refuse the dominion of God in your own life, you cannot under any circumstances or by any means fulfill your desire to be in authority over your life. It is impossible! This is what these books teach us. That is why all through this book you will find that the spotlight is on the throne. It is the king that is the important one — for as the king goes, so goes the nation. In your life your will is king. What your will allows to enter in to control your life, determines how the kingdom of your life goes. King Solomon, the successor to David, is upon the throne. David is still king when the book opens, but immediately he is confronted by the rebellion of another one of his sons, Adonijah. Adonijah attempts to gain control of the throne even before his father David dies. David, learning of this, acts to put Solomon on the throne. Solomon is anointed king while his father still lives and in effect assumes the throne while David is still alive. This indicates the first mark of what a real reigning authority in our lives should be. Authority must come by the gift and hand of God. We cannot reign except as we are established by God. When we give ourselves to the authority of God, it becomes his responsibility to bring every circumstance and every enemy and every rebellion that would otherwise threaten our reign, under control. This is what he did in the case of Adonijah.

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