Ruling by Obedience
Steve Brown, distinguished professor of Orlando’s Reformed Theological Seminary, says ‘…Christ expects us to be faithful where he puts us, and when he returns, we’ll rule together with him.’ He communicates the story told about King Henry III of Bavaria who, living in the 11th century, grew tired of the pressures of being a monarch. In an effort to make the unusual change, he made application to Prior Richard at a local monastery. King Henry III of Bavaria simply asked to be accepted and welcomed as a contemplative and spend the rest of his natural life in the monastery. Prior Richard retorted, “You Majesty….do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? This will be hard because you have been a king.” Henry said, “I understand. The rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you.” Prior Richard said, “Then I will tell you what to do. Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where God has put you.” Professor Brown reports that when King Henry died, a statement was written and read aloud: “The King learned to rule by being obedient.”
Faithfulness to one’s assignment and call becomes the key to ruling before many and prevailing among the masses. If one plans to rule well, one must serve well. Too often, one may want to rush to the place of elevation and exaltation without learning to serve well in the role of hardship, submission and humiliation. Struggle and hardships are an inevitable reality in this thing we call ‘LIFE.’
– Grapes must go through the hardship of being crushed in order to produce wine.
– Wheat has to go through the struggle of being sifted in order to produce flour.
– Olives have to succumb to a process of pressure in order to produce the oil.
And every child of God must experience struggle, crushing, sifting, pressure and hardship if we plan to allow God’s work in us to come out of us.
What does this entail?
1) Embrace your call (You must spend the rest of your life fulfilling the plan God has for you. As soon as you can, find your call and spend the rest of your days laying a brick on the foundation of your call, one day at a time!)
2) Sow seeds of service (Remember that you reap what you so. God makes happen for you what you make happen for others. Help somebody else build their dream and vision of what can be.)
3) Learn to submit to others (Christ said, ‘I came not to be served, but to serve others.’ Peacocks can only spread their wings for so long)
4) Follow the one who you think you are qualified to lead (The true test of whether or not you are ready to lead is if you’re prepared to follow…not only when leaders look like leaders; but when the leader shows you they are human.)
5) Learn to clarify, communicate and sale your vision Wherever you are becomes a great place to establish the anchor that will plant you into your future.)
6) Bloom where you are planted (Many focus on the ‘next level’ nd ‘destiny’ so much that they fail to plant seeds of greatest in the present.)
7) Stay when God says stay (Many people move because of inconvenience and often prematurely. This is dangerous!) I know many people who run away from where God intends for them to be (relationships, job, church, friendships, school) in an effort to attain something bigger, better, greater or more ideal, only to discover a dead end filled with closed opportunities.
8) Move when God says move (Many people overstay their welcome. This is just as dangerous as #7) As with number 7, I know many who stay where God intends them to move away from. Why? Sometimes loyalty. Or fear. Or guilt. Whatever it is…don’t allow yourself to get stuck.
Whatever God is telling you to do, He requires obedience. In my own life, I think of many times I failed to move; and many times I failed to stand still. But it is my prayer to hopefully encourage those who will read or hear – God’s plan for His children is powerful, special and worth following the instructions required to make it to the final destination. May God bless you as you pursue His place for you; and reach the center of His will for your life.