Gladiator. Braveheart. Rocky. Now, these are movies made for men. Tough. Fighting. Blood, guts, and sweat. Defeating the enemy. I could add Shawshank Redemption, Saving Private Ryan. These are movies for men. This is what men are all about. Can I get an Amen, Men? You will never find any of these movies playing on the Hallmark channel. Nope the Hallmark Channel is loves, sweets, and kisses all the time. These are chick-flicks. Someone is always going to fall in love, then there is a problem that appears that it might ruin their love, but in the end, they are together, and my wife is crying. Nope, these are not my kind of movies.
But…here’s the deal. I love my wife and I enjoy hanging out with her. And she is always watching these chick-flick-type shows and movies. Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, and anything else with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. You know the ones I am talking about men. Anyway, a couple of years ago, she started watching this show and I watched about 2.5 seconds and thought, “Oh my goodness, I can’t handle this.” But I kept watching just to hang out with her. The televisions series was called Downton Abbey. It is off the air now, but I will confess that I got hooked. Downton Abbey was set in England in the early 1900’s. I was intrigued by the interaction between the aristocrat family and their servants. The boundaries were so firm. No one was to cross it (though it did happen occasionally). Servants did not speak with attitude. An over-the-top respect was the norm and expectation from the servants toward their employers. At the same time, the head of the aristocrat family struggled as times changed making sure that his estate continued to be profitable because he cared for his employees (servants) and wanted to make sure they were taken care of.
Now, and I hate to say it, I am hooked on another one called, The Crown. It is a docudrama about the life of Queen Elizabeth. Again, to see how the ‘common’ folks gave respect and reverence to the queen and all the royals was something that, as Americans, we are just not used to seeing. We do not respect our presidents or other government officials with nearly the same reverence and respect as people gave the royal family decades ago. And this awe for the royal family was for no other reason but their position. The same was true with Downton Abbey. The homage shown to the aristocrats was for no other reason but position. I think I can easily say that our society has lost its honor for the sake of position.
We live in a day and time when anyone and everyone can be attacked and disrespected by anyone else. For all my adult life, respect for the office of the president has been absent. Sure, there are some people who still claim a piety toward the position of the president, but for the most part, the American society could care less what position someone holds. Love or hate flows out based on perception of performance. If a person perceives that the president is doing a good job, they are loyal. If they feel the person is not doing well, they feel justified to criticize and condemn quickly. And it’s not just in politics.
I’ve heard children belittle their parents. I have seen employees treat their boss with such disrespect. Around the dinner table yesterday, we were talking about Tom Brady’s explosion at one of his coaches. I am just telling you as a former high school and college football player, we never would have screamed at our coach. But we live in a new day.
Ok. So what does this have to do with God. This is supposed to be a devotional not just an assessment of society after all. Well, I think we have lost all reverence for the position that God holds. He is not simply a king, but THE KING OF KINGS. Doesn’t this position merit honor, respect, reverence? With the increase of the New Age movement influencing Christianity, too often Christianity has become a list of behaviors to fulfill instead of a person, a King, THE KING, showed honor and reverence. It has become a lifestyle rather than a relationship. Of course, the Lord has called us to behaviors, but fulfilling the behavior doesn’t mean the relationship is good. Ever hear of the Pharisees? The lack of respect for the Lord’s position as the King of the everything reduces Jesus from King of Kings to Good Teacher like so many other religions see Him.
How can you I say this? For most Christians, Jesus has become like the forgotten Grandma living in a nursing home. They rarely visit and if they do, it is for such a short time. This does not honor that person. We don’t read Scripture like we should. We are not in prayer as we should be. We do not attend church with much regularity. We don’t tell Him thank you. He is not a priority on a daily basis. We have lost reverence for who He is. We do to Him when we need something like a rich uncle or something. We are angry with Him when He doesn’t do what we want like a mean stepdad. But do we do not do a good job of humbling ourselves before Him solely because He is God Almighty.
This week, I am going to be talking about entering the Throne Room of God. Scripture calls us to approach the Throne of Grace boldly that we might receive mercy and grace in our time of need. Is it possible that so much of what God wants to do in your life has not come about because you haven’t shown the reverence, honor, and homage due Him to enter into the Throne room of God. We don’t treat Him like God, the King of all Kings, so then we don’t experience Him as the King with absolute power over all things. We restrict His kingship in our life because we treat Him like a college professor whose class we sometimes we attend. If we want Him to act like the King He is in our life, we must learn to pay homage to Him for no other reason but that He is God
After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.
In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:
“‘Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,’
who was, and is, and is to come.”
Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.” (NIV)
Lord, help me to not only declare that You are the King of Kings, let me interact with me as a humble servant standing before the King of Kings. Help me not to ever interact with you based on how my life is going at the time. You are always my King. Help me to submit myself before you and respond to your call to come to you daily. Help me to be reverent before You. You are God and I am nothing before You. Help me to recognize Your majesty and power that I might then experience your majesty and power as my King. Forgive me when I treat you as a simple teacher. You are above all things. You hold all things together. You are God alone. -Amen.