Who’s In Charge?

Christ as Lord 2Years ago, when I was a kid, someone explained how God wanted to be Lord of my life, but I had Self sitting on the throne. I like that picture, but in this day of democracy, we don’t get the king thing like we once did.

Perhaps today the real question is whether God is the CEO of my life. I’m not up on the way business works, but as I understand it, the CEO is in total control of the management of a corporation. This still may not be the best picture of our relationship with God, but one thing I know. He is not a silent partner.

He hasn’t simply put up salvation so that we can then go about living our lives as we please. Nor are we equal partners. I’m tempted to say our relationship is more like that of an employer-employee, except that’s not right either. God clearly states we aren’t any longer servants but sons.

father and sonSo children it is. The Father in charge, but lovingly so. And the child involved in the family affairs, asking questions, giving input, representing the father when away from home.

Except, in our confused western society, fathers aren’t always in charge and they don’t always know best. In fact, until recently, most sitcoms showed dads to be the dimmest bulb on the Christmas tree.

But maybe that picture, and even the one about the Lord or King on the throne is a more accurate depiction of Humankind’s relationship with God than I’d like to admit. They once were respected, they once ruled, but given time and circumstances, kings became titular heads and fathers became figureheads.

Have we done that to God? We say He’s on the throne of our lives, but have we started ignoring Him? Or treating Him as if He just doesn’t quite get how the world works these days. He’s not up to speed with the latest and coolest.

Take the idea of wives submitting to their husbands, for example. What a backward idea in the age of Feminism.

So, is God wrong in such matters? Or did people for centuries misinterpret the Bible when it says, “In the same way, you wives be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the Word they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives” (1 Peter 3:1).

Or could it be that we have purposefully climbed back on the throne of our lives and are doing what we want regardless of what God says.

It’s possible for Christians to do that. Scripture calls it quenching the Holy Spirit who was given to us to lead us into all truth. It’s a good metaphor since God is referred to often as a consuming fire. We’d need to quench a consuming fire to get to our own way of doing things instead of His.

Published in: on September 27, 2013 at 6:53 pm  Comments (10)  
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  1. Sometimes it’s hard to keep Christ in the centre of our lives where He belongs, especially in our fallen world. I try to remember that while I only see a minuscule part of the universe, God sees all and His will is great than mine.

    An analogy I like is, who would you rather have fly the plane? The captain or one of the passengers?


    • I like that pilot and plane analogy, too. In fact I was talking with a friend just this week about how easily we trust the experts in our lives but not God. We don’t need to know all the ins and outs of dentistry or electricity or auto mechanics or cell phone technology or . . . you name it. We trust that those who work in those areas know what they’re doing and we leave our teeth, lights, cars, phones in their hands. But when it comes to spiritual things, we think we have to understand every little detail, and if we don’t, we accuse God of not doing His job and push Him off the throne so we can climb up and run things our way.

      Thank God He is merciful and gentle in correcting us!



  2. I hope more and more that it is no longer I who lives but Christ. No more self on the throne because the old man has died and my new life is hidden in Christ. His righteousness, His Will, His faith. Not my righteousness, my will, or my faith.


    • Beautifully put, Carole. Yes, that should be the prayer of each of us.



  3. We say He’s on the throne of our lives, but have we started ignoring Him? Or treating Him as if He just doesn’t quite get how the world works these days. He’s not up to speed with the latest and coolest.

    The phrase you are looking for is “not believing in magic anymore”.

    The more people who give up the mythology, the better.


    • Apparently, Arbourist, you’d best be described by the first sketch, with the cross outside the circle. We’re actually not talking about no longer believing in Jesus Christ and the work He accomplished by giving His life for His friends. That would have been a fourth diagram, with the cross back on the outside of the circle.

      So as much as you might wish us to “give up the mythology,” we’ll continue to affirm that this particular mythology, as C. S. Lewis said, is the true myth. What you call magic, we call miracle.



  4. I dislike the “throne of your heart” metaphor. It’s connected with notions over-categorized notions of salvation. I think biblical support for a class of “carnal Christians” who are “saved” but are unwilling to obey Christ is quite weak.

    That three-buble diagram enforces the “Gospel of Addition.” To take the theology of the diagram to its conclusion, Christ is something added to a life, that once added may or may not be active in that life.

    …but that may just be my knee-jerk reactionary dislike of Evangelical soteriology.


    • Hi, Bainespal,

      I know some people who object to the throne diagram because they don’t believe a person can be a Christian and still be on the throne. Sadly, I know from personal experience, I still like to go my own way. Or to change metaphors, to yank the reins from the Coachman.

      I see your point about “addition.” I don’t think we can add Christ to our lives and then go our merry ways. But I think yielding to Him as the One who calls all the shots, not just the ones when I am in beyond my capacity to see a way out, is a process. It doesn’t come over night, I don’t think.

      But what about the evangelical view of salvation don’t you like?



  5. I had been a believer for eight years before I understood this and was willing to hand over my whole life to the Expert. The poem ‘But He holds the map and therefore I will trust Him’ was one I used to object to but now think fits what you said perfecly.
    A good point, well raised. Thank you.


    • Miriam, thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I love hearing stories like yours. Praise God for the way He works in our lives.

      The more our culture announces that individuals have the power within, the more we Christians need to counter with the truth that, actually, we don’t. We can wrestle the reins from God for a time, but He is still in charge, and we will all one day bow the knee to Him. He is the sovereign God, but He is not a tyrant, forcing rule against our will. Rather, He is a loving Father inviting relationship.

      And of course, relationship requires honesty and transparency. We must acknowledge who God is–the rightful Ruler of all–and who we are–sinners falling short of His glory.

      What continues to amaze me is how freeing it is to trust God. I do it poorly and at times snatch the reins back as much as I can, but when I relinquish–not just the reins, but my right to hang on to them or to be the one in charge of them–it is like a weight lifted from my back.

      Hard to explain.



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