The King is Here
“Is the Lord not in Zion? Is her King not within her?
Why have they provoked me with graven images and foreign idols?” Jer 8:19
The children of Israel were in rebellion. They were constantly turning to and worshipping other gods and because of it God had stopped acting on their behalf. They began to question if their King was still there. They were frustrated and in despair. They had a King, but lived as though they didn’t and now they were feeling the repercussions of their actions.
Their King was there. He was there and readily available to them. He longed to be their God and for them to be his people. We see over and over in their story a tale of a big God chasing his people with all his heart. Even in their disobedience, he extends grace many times over. All he wants is their attention. All he wants is their affection. He sees to their every need. He protects them from their enemies and sometimes he even gives them over to their sinful desires, all in hopes of lovingly drawing them back to Him in their time of need. He loves them well, but the love is not always reciprocated. They run from Him. They chase after other gods. They place their attention on anything and everything else. They take Him for granted and allow themselves to be consumed with man-made images and idols. They had access to their King and yet were settling for “futile things which could not profit or deliver.”*
The King was there.
We read this story and probably think they were crazy. We ask why in the world they would turn to other gods when the God of the universe is right there trying to love them. We ask those questions but in reality we are not much different from the children of Israel. Our King is here. All He wants is our affection. Our attention. He longs to love us and be loved by us. He is chasing us with an unrelenting passion. We have the opportunity to sit and commune with this King everyday, yet we forsake Him and that opportunity by continuing to worship our own man-made gods. Everything else in this world has our attention. Our jobs, our success, our phones, social media etc. We have so many things available to distract us and it is working. These things have slowly taken over our lives and we have inadvertently given them more attention then we give our God. You see, its not always the bad things in our lives that become idols. Sometimes even the best thing can become the worst thing, if it distracts us from the Greatest thing.
Our King is here.
He is available to us. He has so much joy, peace, healing, and freedom He wants to give us. But so many of us are living beneath our spiritual means and we don’t have to. So many of us are missing out on the greatest and most fulfilling love we will ever have the opportunity to experience and we don’t have to. Friends, we cannot be so consumed with the things of this world that can essentially do nothing for us, and miss out on the God that has done everything for us. Our King is here. The God of all creation is in love with us and longs to lavish that love on us graciously and generously but we are so accustomed to putting everything before Him that we are missing out. We have to maintain a posture of choosing Him over everything else. We need to have preference for our King. Putting away those other distractions and coming to be with our King helps us to develop expensive tastebuds where cheap things no longer satisfy. It’s when we experience Him that we begin to see that He is what we were created to obsess over. God wants to love our souls so well that nothing else will be able to even compare or take our attention away from him. Our King is here and access has been given to Him and all that He is.
Now, how crazy does it sound to have access to everything and yet choose to settle for nothing?
My brain automatically went to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Here is a boy, poor without a penny to his name. Him and his family sleep on mattresses on the floor in their tiny, rundown house. The only things he has going for him are the love of his family and his great love for chocolate. Chocolate that he never has the means to buy except for once a year on his birthday. He longs for that one time a year, every year, that he gets to sink his teeth into it and all of its glory. He actually makes that one piece of chocolate lasts for months, savoring every single bite. Then one day he gets his chocolate and finds a golden ticket. A golden ticket that would not only give him chocolate, but a golden ticket that would give him access to the Chocolatier.
This little boy with a wide-eyed obsession with the Chocolatier from afar would finally have a chance to witness him up close and personal. And not just him, but him and everything that belonged to him. It was a glorious moment for this young man. He came from nothing and yet was invited into somebodies everything. The joy, the excitement and pure honor on this boys face was priceless to see because he knew how amazing of an opportunity this was. He wasn’t blind to the fact that he did nothing to deserve this access, but was graciously offered it with no strings attached. The entire experience had him in awe. It was more than his tiny mind could have ever comprehended. Once inside, he could see that the chocolate that once enveloped his whole heart was nothing compared to the empire that created it. Once inside, he could see that there actually was more where that came from. Once inside, he could fully experience the Chocolatier and everything he had for him, which would ultimately lead to him being given the entire factory, thereby changing his entire life.
I can’t help but ask myself the question, “What if Charlie had been so consumed with that chocolate that he had missed out on his opportunity to meet the Chocolatier?”
I mean, imagine a young, sweet Charlie standing in front of the Chocolate factory just staring at, consumed by and in love with his chocolate. He has the golden ticket. He has been granted access, but he just stands there feet away from his destiny, distracted by his obsession for this chocolate.
What would you say to him? If you were standing on the sidelines, knowing the end of his story, what would you say to him?
Charlie, look up! Stop being consumed with that one piece of chocolate.
Charlie, look up! There is so much more where that came from and it is waiting right there for you.
Charlie look up! You are about to miss out on the greatest thing that will ever happen to you.
Charlie, look up! That chocolate will never sustain you and you don’t have to go back to the life of poverty you were once in. You’re being invited into more Charlie. You are about to get access to everything. It’s all yours if you would only look up and stop being consumed and distracted by something that is temporary.
Friends, we would not just stand by and watch this sweet, innocent boy miss out on a chance to have his life changed. We would beg, plead and encourage him to move towards his destiny.
I believe God is saying the same thing to His children. We were made for the King, not just his creations.
My Child, Look up! Stop being consumed with that thing.
My Child, Look up! There is so much more where that came from and it’s waiting right here for you.
My Child, Look up! You are missing out on the greatest thing that will ever happen to you.
My Child, Look up! That relationship will never sustain you. That job will never sustain you. That bank account will never sustain you.
Im inviting you into so much more, My Child. I’m giving you access to everything. It’s all yours if you will only look up from being consumed with the temporary. It’s worthless compared to what I have for you.
My Child, Look up!
The King is here and you were created for a life with nothing less.
Questions to Journal Through
What is something in your life that you know has become a distraction from your relationship with your King? Any idols? What do you need to look up from?
What specific actions steps can you take to dethrone that thing?
Are you living beneath your spiritual means? What steps can you take to begin to take more advantage of all that God has waiting for you? What next level is God calling you to?