I don’t know who said it first, but I love the question: “Is God your King or is he your hobby?” That is something only you can answer. Jesus’ first message was for us to ““turn to God and change the way you think and act, [Why?] because the kingdom of heaven is near!”” (Matthew 4:17). He called us to “be concerned about his kingdom and what he approves.” (Matthew 6:33). When he returns, his name will be “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:16). So are you taking your faith too lightly?
Go ahead and do a search of your own, but throughout the Scriptures our God is portrayed as a King. Seriously, go a look:
- “Yahweh rules as king! He is clothed with majesty.
Yahweh has clothed himself; he has armed himself with power.
The world was set in place; it cannot be moved.
Your throne was set in place a long time ago.
You are eternal” (Psalm 93:1-2).
- “Yahweh will rule as king forever and ever” (Exodus 15:18).
- “Yahweh, Elohim of Israel, you are enthroned over the angels You alone are Elohim of all the kingdoms of the world. You made heaven and earth” (II Kings 19:15).
- “Yahweh sat enthroned over the flood.
Yahweh sits enthroned as Melek forever” (Psalm 29:10).
- “Yahweh will be Melek over all the earth. On that day Yahweh will be the only Lord and his name the only name” (Zechariah 14:9).
Yahweh rules as king.
Let the people tremble.
He is enthroned over the angels.[a]
Let the earth quake.
Yahweh is mighty in Zion.
He is high above all people.
Let them give thanks to your great and fearful name.
He is holy!
The king’s strength is that he loves justice.
You have established fairness.
You have done what is fair and right for Jacob.
Highly honor Yahweh our Elohim.
Bow down at his footstool (Psalms 99:1-5)
- Yahweh’s deeds are spectacular.
They should be studied by all who enjoy them.
His work is glorious and majestic.
His righteousness continues forever.
He has made his miracles unforgettable.
Yahweh is merciful and compassionate.
He provides food for those who fear him.
He always remembers his promise.[a]
He has revealed the power of his works to his people
by giving them the lands of other nations as an inheritance.
His works are done with truth and justice.
All his guiding principles are trustworthy.
They last forever and ever.
They are carried out with truth and decency.
He has sent salvation to his people.
He has ordered that his promise should continue forever.
His name is holy and terrifying (Psalms 111:2-9)
But you, O Yahweh, are a Magen that surrounds me.
You are my glory.
You hold my head high.
I call aloud to Yahweh,
and he answers me from his holy mountain. Selah (Psalm 3:34)
Wow! But I’ll tell you what, if Yahweh is indeed your King, you are breathing His air, wearing his clothes, walking on His planet. If He is only your King on Sunday, but not on Monday, He is not your King — He is your Hobby. If He is only your King of what you give, but not on what you keep, He is not your King — He is an interesting toy you play with sometimes. My point is that He must be King of what you do in public, as well as what you do in private.
The problem is that folks simply prefer Him as their hobby. It is easier that way because He won’t tax your time or convenience. Too many people believe that Christianity is fine for church but only for Sunday. They believe our faith should be kept separate from the “real world.” Your neighbors don’t mind if you go to church on Sunday morning, but don’t tell them they should go to church. Everyone “knows” that so long as you believe in God and live a good life you will go to heaven.
Here’s is a major trap into which many of us are falling. We see our God as nothing more than a means to an end. We read the Bible at our convenience or when we need guidance; and pray when we need help. You go to church on Sunday so God will bless you on Monday. Oh sure, you believe that your God is a part of your life, but merely as a resource you can turn to when we need him. He is a spare tire in the trunk or parachute in the plane. You don’t want to be inconvenienced or to have your conscience bothered.
However, there is a problem with that. Yahweh doesn’t give you those options. He can only give what we are willing to receive, and He can only lead those who are willing to follow. To live a life he can bless, you must make him your King.
Yahweh will be your King, but only when you are willing to obey his will — and you obey His will by keeping His commands. And His commands affect every part of our lives.
When Jesus was asked to summarize all the Law and the Prophets, he responded with what we call the “Great Commandments: love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength . . . The second most important commandment is this: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Mark 12:30-31).
You love God “with all your heart” by entering a life-changing relationship with him. You love him “with all your soul” by developing an intimate personal relationship with him. You love him “with all your mind” by learning to apply his word to your life. You love him “with all your strength” by finding and fulfilling his purpose for your life. Until you do that, you will never be able to “love your neighbor as love yourself.”
Quit trying to make things easier on yourself, and simply focus your energy on serving Him — that is when you will find refreshment and reward!
With these Morning Messages, I take you on guided tours to, as Bunyan described, the Celestial City. At times we linger at corners familiar and unseen. And explore the depths of our faith along the way.
The trail is long, but there’s no hurry. Though we do need to stock up on supplies for the way, and that’s where I need your help. If you enjoy these messages, please consider becoming a contributing member of this tour group. It will be very much appreciated.