king david

The Kingdom of God

When threatened by invading armies, King Jehoshaphat of Judah stood before the people and prayed, “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.” (2 Chron 20:6) This truth is recorded and repeated by notable people throughout time who grasped the reality of the enormity of God. Many Christians probably read those words and agree, but when put into contemporary context, do we really? Do we believe God rules over North Korea, African nations with embedded terrorists, China, Russia, and the United States (regardless of who is President)?

If it is a stretch to look at world events and actually believe God is in charge, let’s narrow the scope to something more personal – our hearts. We have likely sung songs to the Lord that declare Him to be the ruler of our hearts. Certainly, King David was a person who honored the lordship of God by not lifting his hand against his predecessor, Saul, but waiting for God’s timing and orchestration of events to make David the King of Israel. Because David consulted with God on his military campaigns, the Lord gave him direction and victory. God even pronounced David “a man after God’s own heart.” (1 Sam 13:14) But did that mean that God was the Ruler over all the kingdoms of David’s heart?

David’s life is a great example of what we’re all guilty of doing – compartmentalizing. David fell prey to pride when he ordered a census of all the fighting men in Israel, an act that dishonored God as his Source. In the sexual arena, David’s desire manifested in taking numerous wives and concubines, including committing adultery with the wife of one of his soldiers. In the fatherhood arena, David was permissive and uninvolved to the extent that one son raped his sister, only to be killed by a brother seeking the justice their father didn’t provide. Later, at two different times, two different sons proclaimed themselves king in David’s passivity.

In the midst of David’s failings, he remained “a man after God’s own heart” through sincere contrition and repentance. David humbled himself, asked God’s forgiveness, and did everything within his power to make restitution. He didn’t repeat the same sin, as his sorrow in displeasing the God he loved motivated him to change.

Do we love Jesus enough to want Him to be the Ruler of all the kingdoms of our hearts? If we’ve given Him Lordship, are we quick to repent when we seize control by doing what seems right and best to us? Are we even aware of all the ways we compartmentalize and dishonor Jesus? Are we so sorrowful for hurting Him, that we want to change?

A profound revelation of God’s Character is a key to making our hearts a microcosm of God’s vast Kingdom. The process is simpler than we expect, while more difficult than we imagine. Who of us will actually “Be still and know that I am God”? (Ps 46:10)