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Reshaping the Image of a King

January 9, 2008

King’s Throne

I have been raised with one concept of God being that of a king. I realized this morning what images that brings to my head. A lot of them come from movies, books, and stories about kings from other cultures. The behavior that happens before a king (or ruler) is to keep your head lower than theirs, approach in submission (even with an element of fear), and to plead your case. The only audience a common person had with a  ruler was to make requests for some assistance.

I was left asking how those images feed into the way I approach God now in my relationship. Do I come before God to just plead my case, feeling like I am not good enough to have relationship with him or be in his presence for more than a short time? Yes, honestly there are times I do feel that way. At the same time I have a concept of God as a loving father that deeply desires intimate relationship with me and wants to spend all day with me conversing about everything in my life, and caring about the smallest detail. Are those two images at odds with each other? I don’t think they have to be, but often they are.

After reflecting on this for the last several hours I have come to realize I need to reshape my image of God. I don’t want to view him as a king who sits on a throne where I have to approach in fear and submission to only plead my case. I want to see him as a leader who is intimately involved with his people, spending time with them where they are at, and caring deeply about them. I think of stories where rulers have changed or shown a move toward that in movies/stories such as The King and I (or Anna and the King), and Princess Diaries. In those stories the rulers changed the status quo. I don’t believe God needs to change, I just need to be sure I am seeing him for who he really is and that I am not relating to him like a ruler from some image I have painted by others.

Lord, show me your character and your heart. Teach me what it means to be in your presence, the presence of someone who is a king, but who is also my dearest friend and deepest love.

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