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24 April 2018

Christ is King, not me

Christ is King, not me

When Jesus taught us to pray 'Your kingdom come', He was inviting us to seek God's rule and reign in every aspect of our lives. Jo Frost explores learning to submit to God the King.

At the heart of the kingdom of God is the King. For me to learn how to be a citizen of that kingdom, I need to learn how to submit my rule to Him. Submission does not come naturally to me: I like to be in control, I heed my own opinions, and I trust my own judgement. I don't even like the word submission; I associate it with force and oppression. But, God's rule is never oppressive; it is life-giving. So, if my inclinations are opposed to submission and yet I know that through submitting to God's rule in my life I will come to experience God's kingdom more readily, then I would be wise to learn how to submit.

Here are three intentional habits that help me learn how to submit to God:

1. The practice of not having the last word 

In conversations (especially heated ones), having the final word can feel a lot like winning. Holding my tongue, giving respect to another person and letting go of the need to be heard, is a humbling and powerful act. It helps me to remember that God knows my heart and my intentions and I do not need to prove anything to anyone else. 

2. The practice of submitting to another's opinion I know best. 

This lie has caught me out so many times. And, even if I do know best, when I do let go of my incessant need to control, I get to bless others with the control that I cling to so tightly for myself.

3. The practice of being a guest 

I love to practice hospitality, to welcome and include people in my family's life. But Jesus was rarely a host; Jesus was often a guest. If I'm honest, I like hosting because I'm in control. I like to be seen to have a nice home and serve good food. Plus, I feel at ease in my own space. When I give the opportunity to someone else, it can be a beautiful opening for God's kingdom to come into their context and to bless them for who and where they are. Jesus often spoke of the kingdom starting in the small and seemingly insignificant, yet having far-reaching effects. I want to see God's kingdom come, in my life, in the lives of those around me and throughout the world. These practices may seem inconsequential, but I do believe "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much" (Luke 16:10). As I learn to submit to God's rule in the little things, I am convinced I will see the effects of God's rule spill out and God's kingdom come.

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