Here is my goal, to keep Christ in His rightful place in my life. A goal I will continually strive to reach all the days of my life on earth.
If we place Christ on the throne of our lives, He is then enabled to live out His life through us - giving us His love for others, leading us to pursue the paths that He has marked out for us, filling us with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self control every moment of every day. You see, when we became Christians, we died and were raised to new life with Christ. We have been crucified with Christ, and we no longer live, but Christ lives in us. The life we live in the body, we live by faith in the Son of God who gave himself up for us. We are not our own. Our struggle is not only with the spiritual forces that surround us, it is also with the very person that tries to revive herself and live out her own plans and purposes, seeking for herself that which she desires and wants - our self, our highly selfish self. Our battle is against this ruthless queen that continually tries to place herself back on the throne and be the ruler of our lives. This self who is supposed to be crucified is a thorn in our flesh. For she is easily offended when others treat her disrespectfully. When Christ is on the throne, we have compassion and love for those who are unkind to us. We see them through the eyes of Christ and think not of the offense, but of the suffering person that lashes out at others with unkind and hurtful words, and we (with Christ in our hearts) feel sorry for them and want to bless them. How different is that response from the response of the person who still has their self on the throne of their lives. That person thinks of the injury to themselves they have sustained, and is hurt, offended and mad.
When we have self on the throne we make plans and get involved in activities without seeking the counsel of God. Soon, we run out of steam, get burnt out and find the situation is fraught with problems, obstacles and difficulties especially with relationships. When we have Christ on the throne, we wait on the Lord. His sheep know His voice. We usually know when God is leading us to do something, and when God is silent. We pray before saying "yes" to any request for involvement. We will say no to what sounds good in order to wait for what is best. And sometimes, that means we say no to things that sound wonderful or would bring us recognition and feelings of security.
Speaking of security. When Christ is on the throne of our hearts, we are so wrapped up in Him, hearing His voice, discerning His will, seeking His plan, capturing our thoughts and bringing them back into obedience, that we quit focusing on ourselves. We quit thinking about whether we are valued by others, we quit worrying about saying the wrong thing, we quit trying to get our feelings of importance from man. Suddenly, our minds are so filled with thoughts of the Lord that we are filled with the confidence that comes with walking with the Lord. The word tells us that the fruit of righteousness is peace, the effect of righteousness is quietness and confidence forever. Quietness because we are no longer trying to fill the air with our words in an attempt o show others our wisdom and value. Confidence because we know how accepted and valued we are, and no longer need to secure it for ourselves from people - rather, we long for others to know that same peace and confidence.
But how? How do we crucify this person that seeks for itself and ends up making us miserable? How do we get ourselves off the throne and Christ in His rightful place? This is a battle I fight daily. Sometimes I feel like Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde!
The key is that Christ is ready to jump back into position. He longs to lead and bless our lives. He doesn't want to first punish and condemn us. He's ready to simply forgive - wipe it off the slate - and seat himself on the throne and lead us with joy. Right now, today. No condemnation, no ridicule, no resentment that you have not allowed to sit there in such a long while. Our only requirement is repentance and surrender. Repentance comes first. Remember that when we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us AND CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. Not only does he forgive, he gives us a total bath, scrubbing off all the grime that accumulated on our once white robes. Our repentance brings total renewal. It is by faith, not by works that we are forgiven and cleansed. Once we have repented we get a new start with freshly washed robes that are as white as snow.
After repentance, we must surrender. How do we surrender? That battle occurs in our mind. Until we are in the habit of living a surrendered life (which, by the way, is never completely won until we are with Him in glory), we must be in prayer, moment by moment asking the Lord to take over. "Take over my thought life, Lord. Give me Your thoughts about this. Let me only think those things You would have me think." With everything, you ask Him to rule over your plans, your thoughts, your day, your hours, your minutes. When a thought comes in that is selfish, you confess it, and ask the Lord to remove those thoughts, give you His thoughts and fill you with His love, His joy, His peace, His patience. If it's been a while since Christ has been on the throne of your heart, this conversation will have to go on almost continually for days on end until it becomes a natural thing for you to seek Christ in all things. It will happen, because Christ wants for it to happen.
Then, you will find that everything in your life comes under the control of Christ; from curriculum choices to vacation plans, from church activies to homeschool group activities, from how you spend your time at home to where you go each week. And each day that we continue with Him as our guide, our leader, our Lord, the Lord of our days in every way - we will finally be living out the promises of God - the promise for life more abundant, the promise of peace...all the promises of which there are too many to list here.