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Have You Abdicated Your Throne?

Posted by Nolan Jones III on

You are one thing only. You are a Divine Being. An all-powerful Creator. You are a Deity in jeans and a t-shirt, and within you dwells the infinite wisdom of the ages and the sacred creative force of All that is, will be and ever was.
― Anthon St. Maarten, Divine Living: The Essential Guide To Your True Destiny

Do you think Maarten is correct? Are we all deities in jeans and t-shirts? Are we all divine beings that have within us “the infinite wisdom of the ages and the sacred creative force of All that is, will be and ever was”?

Who would have the audacity to say such a thing? How could we ever embrace such a ridiculous lie? We all know that there is only one true God, and it sure isn’t us.

A. W. Tozer writes on this matter:

Sin has many manifestations but its essence is one. A moral being, created to worship before the throne of God, sits on the throne of his own selfhood and from that elevated position declares, I AM. That is sin in its concentrated essence;
— A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy

Sin is refusing to bow before our Creator and God in worship, and instead erecting our own thrones, sitting upon them, and declaring that we are God. Every sin that we commit is, at its core, a declaration of “I AM” from our self-appointed thrones. All rebellion begins with breaking of the first commandment:

You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
― Exodus 20:3–4 NASB

You and I will never fully understand the degree to which we break this command. You may have never bowed down before an idol made of wood, metal or stone, but there is not a day of your life that you have fully abdicated your throne and bowed down with all you are before God and loved him “with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)

You might not believe that you are a deity, but know that you have lived part, if not all, of your life as if you are.

Everyone reading this devotional probably believes themselves to be a Christian. But believing you are a Christian and actually being one — a born-again new creation, indwelled by the Holy Spirit and being conformed into the image of Christ — are two different things. It would be presumptuous of me to assume that everyone reading this devotional was a true Christian.

If you are a born-again child of God, be assured that no matter what you did or didn’t believe before your conversion, you lived your life as a “deity in jeans and a t-shirt.” The unregenerate person has a corrupt heart (Jeremiah 17:9) that is a “slave to sin” (Romans 6) to such a degree that they will never abdicate their throne and bow to worship before the throne of God. But when you were regenerated, God did for you what he promised he would do through the prophet Ezekiel:

Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
― Ezekiel 36:25–27 NASB

When God regenerated you, he essentially dragged you off your throne, crucified the idol-worshipping sinner that you were, created you anew in Christ Jesus, gave you a new heart capable of loving and worshiping him, and placed his Spirit within you to empower you to obey his commands.

But what about those who merely believe themselves to be Christians? I’m sure that none of you reading this would believe yourself to be in that group, but that is the nature of sin. It blinds us to the truth of our spiritual condition.

Yet so subtle is self that scarcely anyone is conscious of its presence. Because man is born a rebel, he is unaware that he is one. His constant assertion of self, as far as he thinks of it at all, appears to him a perfectly normal thing.
― A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy

But God’s word encourages us to take an honest look at ourselves and see how we measure up:

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you– unless indeed you fail the test?
― 2 Corinthians 13:5 NASB

So, even if you believe you are a Christian, put yourself to the test. If you test yourself and pass, then you have all the more reason to be secure in your salvation. But if you test yourself and fail, then you are free of a deception that would’ve taken you by the hand and led you blindly into the eternal wrath of God. If this is the case, know that there is still hope, because you are not dead yet. There is still time to cry out to God to save your soul.

So, are you ready to “test yourselves to see if you are in the faith”? Jesus is the test maker. He defines the terms of having a relationship with him. He tells us who is and who is not a Christian.

Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
― Luke 14:25–27 NASB

If you want to want to follow Jesus, your affection for him must be above your affections for everyone else: your parents, your siblings, your spouse and your children. Your affection for Jesus must also be put above your own life. To carry your own cross is to consider yourself dead to the things of this world. All your affections for this world and the things of it are gone. Jesus is your one true love, and you will abandon all to follow him. He may not ask you to abandon all, but if he did, you would abandon everyone and everything, even your own life. You will do whatever your one true love asks of you. That is what Jesus is saying. That is the test. That is what it means to be a Christian.

If that sounds foreign to you, ask yourself why. If you can’t imagine abandoning all for Jesus, then you ask yourself, “Is Jesus my one true love?” Where do your affections lie? Who calls the shots in your life? At whose throne do you worship? Are you sitting on the throne of your own selfhood from an elevated position, declaring, “I AM,” or are you bowed down before the throne of Christ, following him wherever he may lead?

If Christ is speaking to your heart right now, revealing to you some hard truths about yourself, calling you to abdicate your throne and bow before his, you best do what he says and take up your cross and follow him.

The natural man is a sinner because and only because he challenges Gods selfhood in relation to his own. In all else he may willingly accept the sovereignty of God; in his own life he rejects it. For him, Gods dominion ends where his begins.
― A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy

His best religious works God rejects as He rejected the offering of Cain. Only when he has restored his stolen throne to God are his works acceptable.
― A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy

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