I have never sat before a human king.
I think few have, at least now and days.
Kings of old often were adorned with a splendor that few can possess or imagine, and yet… though they were worshiped as gods — mortal they were.
How a king was approached in the past was a serious matter, serious even unto death.
Step before his face, or into his crib without being requested… you were guaranteed to get a spear. Not the type used for a kebob either.
We don’t have to face this before the throne of Christ, yet the scripture encourages us to come before his throne of grace boldly (Hebrews 4:16).
Is it so terrifying to receive provision and blessing freely from a good person, even God?
To receive a deep need met by a gift from someone is more caustic to fear and hate than any other agent in the universe.
We face our vulnerabilities and limits before the King who is kind.
In that place… we face ourselves.
Before the King who washes the very feet of the humans he set in motion (and emotion might I add), such as his disciples.
In this place we face his doxa (glory in Greek), and it isn’t a glory that is conceited or puffed up.
It’s offensive to our usual sense of what matters because it is so humble, approachable, and yet so powerful. So much so, that it is like a pest repellent to pride.
His presence is like what Joseph called “an answer of peace”.
And while it is… it goes without saying that Pharaoh couldn’t receive it until he opened his heart, and told of the visions that vexed him.
This ancient big wig had all of the wisest men in his court — probably in the known world at that time — and they couldn’t shed any light on the meaning of his dreams.
So, I feel, he was probably at his wits end to be willing to listen to an innocent prisoner for an interpretation.
Not a sage, a scribe, or a seer.
Need can do funny things to a person.
Good thing he did, for according to the story, everyone else in the known world would have had no salvation from the famine.
The hero of the story not only saved the Pharaoh from a literal and figurative nightmare; God delivered him as well, but it wasn’t always sunny with a side of Egypt for ole’ Joe. No sir.
A pampered pet by Israel (Jacob prior), this dude needed some serious humbling.
For those familiar with the story… I’m not saying that God put him in prison, or planned to have Joe sold to slaves for the record. I’m saying that to do as well as he did with the power that was given to him, ole’ pampered boy had to taste the lows, even in their undeserved midst.
And just like God’s own Son… God raised him up from the muck and mire he faced.
Which brings me to Isaiah. We don’t buy into God’s kingdom. We allow it, and its law-giver (so to speak) to bring it out in us.
And if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul: then your light shall rise in darkness, and your obscurity be as the noonday;Isaiah 58:10, WEB
To partake in it, we must obey the command to rest in his works in us.
Some may dream of what it must be like to inherit a large inheritance, and the fantasize about the good they would do with a lot of money.
Most of the time it is not the case. I feel that some people make the poor choices they do with money given to them in that fashion because they hate the fact that they didn’t earn it.
So their emotions look for validation by buying flashy things.
It either ends with an empty life, or a full grave.
There has to be a solution.
There is — but it is frustrating, and it goes against the very grain of the world.
For the world and its kingdoms — YOU WORK (often measured by perceived value).
Nothing could be farther from this norm than God’s Kingdom.
There is nothing wrong with this in principle, but people take this dynamic WAY too far very often.
So here is the “frustrating” solution.
For the Kingdom of Christ within… we work WITHIN him — within his rest and the fruits of his labors, given freely as a gift and an inheritance received by a humble heart.
What is needed to participate in the treasure of heaven — The Crown Prince of Peace?
It is the only prerequisite besides faith.
“I want to earn my keep in the world! Forge my own will and way!”
Honey… those are two different things.
I’ll comment on the second.
Oh! Why would pride dare receive a gift that actually meets a need? Oh the horror!
Horror indeed, for Christ’s light exposes sin to the love of God, and to his acceptance.
To they who “pay” for the prerequisite… a miracle comes forth. Somewhat like the Star of Bethlehem.
When we choose to be open and humble before the Lord; when we don’t seek vain glory from man (tokens of virtue and recognition); when we accept the meanings and unctions gifted by the Holy Spirit instead of the passing voids sold about as valuable by others… paradoxically, our doxa (glory) and recognition increases. Our tranquility increases as well.
Because it comes with the territory of acting in and depending on the inner kingdom of Christ.
For the Gentiles seek after all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well.Matthew 6:32-33, WEB
I feel it is safe to take this as true.
Just look at Joseph.
You shall be over my house, and according to your word will all my people be ruled. Only in the throne I will be greater than you.Genesis 41:40, WEB
There is no limit to what God can do through a willing person.
It doesn’t matter what they look like, or what their past has been.
Know this though.
But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshipers.John 4:23, WEB
What he has sown in peace unto us (to be remembered especially around this time of year I feel) we can reap in peace. The crop of his love can provide in the midst of the famine of company, and other things.
Just like with the story of Joseph, I feel things will eventually get better, especially unto the ones who did store up spiritual lessons, and knew the meaning of loving one another in spirit and in truth prior to this global grindstone of a time.
So, unto the Noel, the serene prince who guards the core of the heart… who is with us now.
What shall be your answer of peace?