Like the Other Nations.
The Bible is full of kings. In fact we have two compilations in the canon of king stories called simply Kings, and another two collections called Chronicles. That is only part of the story about kings. Good kings, bad kings, not interested kings, well known kings and obscure kings. Whatever our faith has a history and obsession with people who are kings, people who want to be kings and people who want to follow kings. Leader’s of might and strength and hopefully some trust in God somewhere in there so that they can at least do what was right in the eyes of the Lord and find some blessing in battle and possessing the land and territory. We remember the kings that have done the greatest exploits for God. Some of them even turned the Nation of Israel back to God. Yet what I find interesting is that God did not want Israel to have a king in the first place. It was not part of His plan to have a throne of man in the centre of a community. Yet the game of thrones was what the people wanted. They wanted a king ‘just like the other Nations’. They wanted to be like everybody else. They wanted a man to lead them because how can you follow an invisible force? What will the other Nations think of them if they did not appoint an earthly leader, they would surely look weak? So they nagged and nagged the judges, nagged and nagged and nagged, and just like what happened when they were given the opportunity to be a Nation of priests they absconded the responsibility to a few individuals they did the same here too. ‘Give us a king to rule over us’, ‘it will be a bad decision’ God replied, because He knew the heart of man when he gets a throne under his arse and a people under him as subjects. But they wanted to blend in to the other Nations so God relented and gave them a king, Saul. Thus began the obsession with thrones and kings and ruling and reigning and being ruled and having someone over you as a covering and leading you and being your commander. An obsession that continues into today. And just like today when God finds a heart leaning towards Him something is released from heaven, but as I have said before blessing is more to do with the character of God than what we are doing right. He sent glory into the Temple of Solomon but He did not want the Temple to be built. He blesses kings, not to enhance their ruler ship but because somewhere in there God has found a glimpse of heart turning towards Him.
King’s Disguised in the Five-fold Ministry Gifts.
I had a throne. I had a seat of power where I could wield vision and direction and authority. I was gifted by God to be over a congregation. Trained for the ministry to run a church. Reveal truth from the Word and revelation from the Spirit. For those that did not want to follow me they could go find a king that they did want to sit under, for those that challenged me they would find me bold and stubborn in my beliefs and strong as an army. How dare they question the Lord’s anointed! For those that submitted to my authority there was the chance to be part of the inner team, part of the leadership structure, part of the support mechanisms for the throne itself. With a Bible in hand and a title and position there was such authority. Just as the men of power would lead in the companies and businesses of the world, so would we act on the thrones of the churches. We would put on leadership seminars for better leadership, how to handle people that would disagree with our authority, how to communicate vision and get people behind you. Book upon book would be written by successful kings who had multiple subjects. You too can have a church of thousands, just be a visionary, be strong, walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the authority of your position. Does not matter who you tread on in the journey as long as you get to the top. The church is full of kings disguised as five-fold ministry gifts. Is this what God saw when he saw apostles and prophets buried under the earth as foundational functions? Is this what he saw when he saw shepherds giving their lives for the sheep? We see a function like shepherding, make it into a title, make it into an authority gift, give it a throne, power and authority, and then we wonder why we get into such a mess. But the people of the world have authority structure so surely we must have one as well! Someone must be in charge. Who will we follow if no one is leading us? Who can we hide under when the shit hits the fans? We must have a king. The powerful and gifted think, I must be king! No wonder we end up with many stagnant believers void of strength and the know how to walk their own walk of faith. Too many kings, too many wanabee kings, too many subjects.
Power to the People.
The problem I found is that even when you want to re-distribute the power the wrong type want it and most people want to give it back again and follow someone. We have for so long lived with a wrong system of leadership and obsession with titles, positions and kings, that we have forgotten to all be king-priests in the order of Melchizedek. When I was on my throne as a Pastor in the ‘local’ church, I was beginning to see something of a more liquid church and all members functioning and giving away authority and serving others in what they felt they were gifted in God to do. I faced loads of issues as I tried to pour the new wine into an old wineskin. Why I did not listen to Jesus when He said no one could do this. I thought I could be the first, after all I was a king with a throne. The power hungry grabbed at the chance to function because they got sight of the throne for themselves. Titles, positions, recognition, all these things would float around as a carrot waiting to be grasped by the donkeys. Then there was the rest of the subjects, they just wanted to serve the throne. They did not want to do anything other than sit and marvel at the one’s with authority. They were not gifted for such things. These people could not be shifted because they wanted to be under the authority structure. They chose to be the lowliest. They were too humble to rise up, to weak to stand, they were needy and had to have someone who would bring vision and guide and be power for them. They wanted someone else to teach them the word, tell them what it said, pray for them, stand in the gap for them, fight the devil for them, give them council and advise on every subject. They just wanted to obey those in authority without question. These people are just as dangerous as the power hungry because they make you think you’ve got something as a king. Authority given is power given, whereas really it should be power to the people to serve one another.
Destroy the Earthly Thrones.
As a former king it was difficult stepping away from the throne. Like Gollum in Lord of the Rings we get an addiction to the power the ring holds. The only way Gollum and others would be set free was by destroying the ring. It is time to destroy the thrones, take away the titles, remove the opportunities of position, all become friends of the One true king. Instead of worrying about what gifts we have, whether we are apostolic or prophetic or a shepherd, just be. Just live. Just serve. Positions only bring vision of grandeur and power hungry actions and thoughts. No one should be a subject in this kingdom, yet all are subjects. We need to stop being like the organisations in the nations. Why do we want to be like them when it offers so little? I have found just walking shoulder to shoulder with man with no position or title or authority so rewarding. I am no longer obsessed with numbers and people who follow me, I am obsessed with others and their lives and what I can sow into them in love. The fellowship of kings that I once walked in has disappeared, no one wants to sit at the table with a mere subject, but the company I have around many tables is so glorious and rewarding and full of life. The throne I sat on has been destroyed by the fire. There is no going back. We submit our lives one to another in love and respect, not to lord it over but to promote and serve and give and see dreams fulfilled and broken lives mended. It is time to see that God never wanted a throne amongst His people that a man could sit on. Never wanted titles and positions that we could fight for or jostle over or even sit under. There is a new kingdom coming, that has already come, and this one has no men upon the thrones.
“I’m gonna be the mane event
Like no king was before
I’m brushing up on looking down
I’m working on my roar”
(from I Just Can’t Wait to be King from the Lion King)