The days are getting shorter, the evenings cooler signaling the arrival of a new month, the hinting of a new season. Time to prepare for a new school year, find the pencil cases and make sure they have sneakers that fit.
As we tick the boxes on our checklist, our emotions falter. Another round of new regulations has us all out of sorts when we’re desperately wishing for normal.
Yet, in the midst of it all, God is at work, for “the lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” (Prov 16:33). While unforeseen changes caught us off guard, it certainly hasn’t knocked Him off His game, nor has it altered his purposes.
To be enthroned, according to Merriam-Webster is, “to seat in a place associated with a position of authority or influence.” As Christians we believe “the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods” (Ps 95:3),and “he is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Col 1:17).
Engaging in the world when we feel chaos everywhere has us disoriented and uncertain-at least it has for me. I’m reminded, however, of scriptural truth about who God is. How He sits on His throne, that He alone holds all power and authority, and we’re invited to believe it.
“The Lord has established his throne in the heavens and his kingdom rules over all” (Ps 103:19)
The book of Daniel recounts the story of king Nebuchadnezzar (in ch.4) as he gazes across the city of Babylon and in pompous pride declares the glory of what hehas built. He subsequently loses his right mind, acting like an animal, and is driven away into the wilderness. After a time, his restoration arrives and he confesses the greatness of the King of heaven, “for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble” (Dan 4:37).
When chaos ensues, whether it’s emotional distress or changing circumstances, God is on the throne. He’s the one who governs everything. No ruler, no pride of our own will, can thwart him, nor compete. The reality of what’s happening isn’t what we’d choose, but it’s what He has allowed for His good purposes.
Considering we feel most insecure when control is oozing like slime out of our fingertips, we remember it’s not –and is never- slipping out of his.
“But the Lord sits enthroned forever; He has established His throne for judgment” (Ps 9:7)
The authority of God over the earth isn’t just sometimes, and it’s not over some things, it’s comprehensive. He works all things according to the purpose of his will and his plans and purposes are for our good and for his glory.
The gospel teaches us that while we remained stuck in sin, God sent Jesus to be our replacement, to take on the punishment for our sins. He did this in his great and everlasting love. The price is paid for our sin, however we continue the daily struggle with temptation and growing in Christlikeness.
For the throne of the Lord is also one of judgment. Every careless word spoken, the overflow of our hearts becomes visible-every prideful judgment. This weighs heavy on my own soul as conflict and adversity abound. Yet, these humbling opportunities come from the Lord, to grow in throwing off our sin and putting on Christ. Our response to the Lord Jesus in this humbling reveals much about our hearts.
In the changes to our circumstances, how is God being glorified in your life? In your families? In your workplace? In your church? Are we making much of the gospel or are we making much of ourselves?
“And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” (Rev 19:4)
Our worship belongs to the Lord Jesus alone. He is the Lamb slain for us, the only one worthy of power and honour. God is the centre of worship in heaven and he’s the centre of human history.
Our story isn’t over. The ever-evolving changes to our lives may feel like an end, but it’s not. We praise Him for what he has done and what he is continuing to do in the world until the day of his return when all things will be made new again. This is our hope. For Jesus cries out “Behold, I am coming soon” (Rev 22:12) to affirm his good and faithful servants who’ve held true to the gospel.
There is only one who sits on the throne of heaven. His authority and governance over our lives and circumstances is unshakable. He is worthy of our praise and our lives in worship.
Let us fix our eyes on Him.
*this article first appeared in the September 2021 Watered Garden newsletter