KIng By Choice Or King By Force


Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV), “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Romans 14:11 (International Standard Version), “For it is written, “As certainly as I live, declares the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will praise God.””

Isaiah 45:23 (NIV), “By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.”

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, God will be praised, by every tongue, saved or unsaved, angels and demons, humans and animals, all will praise Him.

Jesus is King of Kings. Nothing we can do or think, say or do can change that. However just like everything else in our lives we have a choice, not if we will name Him as Lord and King, but when. We can submit to Him as King now, or we can be forced to bend the knee later. It’s totally up to us.

I love reading books on Arthurian legend. One of the reasons is because of the depiction of Arthur as “High King”. I am in fact reading the best version yet, by Stephen R. Lawhead. This one is my favorite due to the fact that Arthur and even Merlin are portrayed as followers of Jehu (Jesus). The story still has battles and those evil characters that try to manipulate, or strike terror in the people. Each of those wicked Lords or lesser kings all faced a choice, to submit to Arthur as High King and support the defense of their land, or be conquered in battle and be forced, literally to bow the knee and swear fealty to their king.

Such a good lesson for us, Jesus will be our King, by choice or by force.

You choose.

The good part is that Jesus is not a man like Arthur (if he was even real), with flaws and faults. Jesus is deity. He is God and He is good. You could never submit to anyone who would care for and love you more, or better. He always has your best interest at heart. Just like the kings of old, He went first into battle. He not only goes before you, He encompasses you.

Here is a passage taken from Lawhead’s “Arthur” spoken over Arthur at his crowning:
“Jesu with him, before him, behind him;
Jesu in him, beneath him, above him;
Jesu on his right, Jesu on his left’
Jesu when he sleeps, Jesu when he wakes;
Jesu in the heart of everyone who thinks of him;
Jesu in the mouth of everyone who speak of him;
Jesu in the eye of everyone who sees him.”

Let’s truly make Him our King. Not just in word, but in deed, so that all who see us, think of us, or speaks of us will be glorifying God.

If you have confessed Him as Lord, let this be a reminder of what that really means. If you haven’t think about what it would be like to have a loving King to go out for you in battle. One who has already won the victory and has all the spoils of war to give into your hands.


Revelation 5:13 (Douay-Rheims Bible), “And every creature, which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them: I heard all saying: To him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb, benediction, and honour, and glory, and power, for ever and ever.”

A Strong Savior


I think that over the years the Church has emasculated Jesus. We see picture after picture of Him on the cross, looking anorexic and sickly. Thank God that some have come to their senses. If you spend any time reading your Bible, you will come to know who Jesus really was. First of all he wasn’t frail and too thin. He was a carpenter and probably had the build of someone who uses his muscles for hard work. Jesus is gentle and kind, loving and forgiving, but He also is strong and, when needed, full of righteous anger. Our Messiah opened His arms to every repentant sinner, but He opened His mouth against the stubborn, stiff-necked, self-righteous religious leaders as well.

We know He came to save the world, to bring back those He loved into t right relationship with God, and we know He loves everyone. However we can’t skip over the fact that He chased the moneychangers out of the temple with a whip, (Matthew 21:12-17; Luke 19:45-48).

John 2:12-25 (NLT), “It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”

Does that sound like a wimpy man to you? Read the whole chapter of Matthew 23 to find His opinion of the Pharisees, you won’t find a kind or gentle word there.

Matthew 23:23-25 (NLT), “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. Blind guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel! What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish and then the outside will become clean, too.”

Then there was the man with the withered hand and the wrong attitudes of those in the temple:

Mark 3:1-5 (NIV), “Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.”

He got angry. Not angry because He didn’t get His own way or because He was easily offended. He got angry because they didn’t know who He was. They didn’t see in Him their Messiah and Savior and they tried to keep others from the Truth.

Yes, Jesus is a loving Savior, tenderhearted, and gentle. He is also a righteous warrior defending His people and avenging His Father. He is The Knight in Shining Armor, He is King of King and Lord of Lords, He is the Commander of the Host of Heaven, Don’t ever forget that.

He is the perfect man! Strong enough to protect His own, and gentle enough to comfort every broken heart.
He is a strong Savior.

Revelation 19:11-16 (KJB), “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

A Servant King?


Can a King be a servant?

When Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, became king of Israel, after God had promised to divide the kingdom due to Solomon’s idol worship, he was faced with an important decision. How should he rule his people? His father began humbly asking God for wisdom to rule the people, but ended up in all kinds of pride, self-centered catering to his every whim and ultimately turning away from God, (though he did come to repentance at the end of his life). Rehoboam also starts out with some wisdom, he asks for advice. First he asks the older counselors who sat under his father. We can see their reply in I Kings:

I Kings 12:7 (NASB), “Then they spoke to him, saying, “If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and grant them their petition, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.”

Unfortunately that is the end of his wisdom in seeking counsel. Next, he goes to the young men he had grown up with. Just reading their answer makes me cringe:

I Kings 12:10-11 )NASB), “The young men who grew up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus you shall say to this people who spoke to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, now you make it lighter for us!’ But you shall speak to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins! ‘Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’”

How do you follow in the footsteps of the wisest, richest man ever? According to his son, you rule the people with an iron fist, in their face, and demand total submission. Sounds like a good plan, right? The Israelites cried out and turned against the house of David. From that day on, the kingdom was divided between Judah and Israel, two kingdoms and two kings. You can continue reading in I Kings and in II Chronicles if you want to see how that all ends.

My point is that we cannot lead by force! Jesus never did. He led by example. He never demanded that people follow him. I can just picture Him with a big smile on His face and a friendly hand on Matthew’s shoulder saying, “have you had your fill of this mundane life, how about walking away from collecting taxes and come with me?” or what about Peter and Andrew, James and John, same smile, same call from a friend, “put down those nets, and lets go catch some souls!”

Jesus is a King, He serves. Why? Because that’s where The Father’s heart is, helping people. God’s desire is that our lives are better. So, each one of us are called to be servants. Jesus repeatedly talked to His disciples about being servants and serving others. When the multitude was hungry and the disciples wanted to send them away, Jesus told them to feed them. At one time, after hearing them argue about who was the greatest, He said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.” (Mark 9:35).

We all lead. At least we are supposed to. We might not all have a leadership position at work or at church, but we are parents, we have friends and family, we are part of a community. How are you leading? Our Senior Pastor always says, “Leaders must go there first. Leaders must do it first.” That sounds pretty simple. If we want our community to be more loving, friendlier, then we need to be more loving and friendly. If we want our church to be debt free, we have to give our money. If we want our co-employees to stop talking like they live in a gutter, watch what you say.

We don’t have to be a walking bible to witness and change our atmosphere; we just have to live right. Living like the world never got a single person saved. Our faith during a hard time, our expecting good when the world expects the worse, or support and prayers during someone else’s crisis, all show a relationship with a Savior. How we act matters.

If you are in a leadership position, don’t follow the advice of the young men Rehoboam grew up with! Don’t lead like his father, Solomon, who only cared about his chariots, his palaces, his riches, his pleasure, and his foreign wives.

Look again at Jesus. Why do we commit to follow and serve Him forever? Because, He first served us. He treated us kindly; He showed us mercy, and most of all He gave up His life for us.
When is it right for a king to rule with force? When the people rebel. There will come a day when the King of Kings will come in His power and glory to show Himself as The King to the whole rebellious and hard hearted world.

Revelation 19:11-16 (KJB), “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

I for one, want to know Him as the King who serves those He loves. The Mighty Warrior King from the book of Revelations is the King who protects and defends me. I will never have to be on the other side of His righteous anger! Praise God!

As leaders, there may be a time to correct and discipline, and even a time to cut loose. However, it’s never our place to try and take the place of God. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He is the One to carry out punishment. As I have said so many times before, we would mess it up. Leave that to God and lead with the motivation of building The Kingdom, not your kingdom. Have a servants heart, the heart of God, and those who follow your lead, will serve The King forever.

After all, isn’t that ultimately where we are leading…to The Father?

Who Is Sitting On The Throne?


We’ve probably all heard the analogy of the God spaced hole in our heart that only He can fill. I even read a good little book/tract by Joan Pearce called “The Empty Spot.” But I think we should go a step further. Yes there is a place on our hearts that only God can fill, but it isn’t a hole or an empty place…it is a throne!

We have all been created with a throne in our hearts, a king-sized throne, royal and majestic. This throne was designed for the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Unfortunately most of us try to sit there themselves. We try to direct our own lives, to be in control, but we aren’t able to bear the weight of the responsibility. It’s simply to much for us. We aren’t equipped to rule our hearts alone. This throne is for a Holy, Righteous Judge. It’s to be used with divine Wisdom and Discernment. The one who sit’s on this throne needs to be able to clearly see the future and rightly discern the past.

But sit we do. We mess up our lives. Sometimes we step down and ask Jesus to rule in our hearts, (we have to step down, He will never take the throne by force), and sometimes we weasel in and try to take over again. But the throne is only built for one. It is not a “two-seeter.” That is like those “driving lessons” from Dad when we could barely see over the steering wheel, even sitting on his lap. If dad allows his little one to truly steer they weave and bob all over the road, straying from the straight and narrow path. Sometimes dad will hold on with a few fingers to maintain control, but the little one pretends he is doing it all himself. We think that picture is cute. But in the spirit it is anything but cute. When we pretend we are driving and accomplishing things in our own strength, when God is the one working things out for us, we are bound by pride. And pride comes before a fall. We cannot take the Glory meant for God.

Another natural analogy is when we see baby sitting in Daddy’s chair. We think that is so cute as well, and it is, baby is trying to be like Daddy. But we would never expect that baby to take over Daddy’s job, pay the bills, run the household, would we. The throne is so much more than a place to sit. Stepping down from the throne shows maturity, trying to do it ourselves shows immaturity. When things aren’t going the way we had planned, or they aren’t happening when we want them to, we tend to throw a toddler tantrum and demand the throne back (“if you aren’t going to do something, God, then I will”). But it is time to grow up. Examine your heart. Do you put Jesus there when you need a healing, then jump back on when it comes to your finances? Do you pick and choose when you allow Him to rule? The apostle Paul says, “When I was a child, I was speaking as a child, I was led as a child, I was thinking as a child, but when I became a man, I ceased these childish things.” (I Cor. 13:11). Do a check up, if He’s not on the throne-repent. He’s quick to forgive. He won’t hold it against you.

Let’s get practical. Giving God the throne of your heart DOES NOT mean never doing anything on our own. We do not need to ask God what color shoes to wear, what to eat for dinner, or how to style our hair. Use the wisdom God gave you for those things. Don’t let Satan deceive you as he did Adam and Eve into thinking God wants to control every little part of your life. He want to be part of your everyday life, but not control it. He is not an evil dictator. He is a wise, loving Father who happens to truly know what is best for you. You give Him control by listening to His voice. Let yourself be led by His Spirit. When He tells you to do something, do it. If He asks you to stop doing something, stop. In example: He tells us to give Him, His 10%, that it is to be given to the storehouse, the place where you are fed (your local church). So do we need to ask Him if we should be tithing? No, He already told us to do it.

Big life changing decisions should be brought before the Lord in prayer. Be patient to hear His answer. He always answers, sometimes yes, sometimes no and sometimes wait. He’ll direct you in a personal way if we need Him to. Some good examples of these things are the choice of a spouse, a church, a job change or how to use our finances. We should be asking Him about our offerings. How much does He want us to give and to where. Why wouldn’t we want to hear from the One who planned it all our perfectly? Anything short of His perfect will is a hard row to hoe. We have enough trouble living in this fallen world as it is. Why compound them?

Forgive me for trying to do it all myself. Please come into my heart and rule and reign there. Lead me and guide me on Your path of righteousness. I want your perfect will to be done in my life. Holy Spirit show me any areas that I have not surrendered. Help me to give them over to the King.

Lyrics for “Free”

From your Holy Temple
From your Heavenly Throne
You are watching over me.

Your death on the cross
Purchased back your own
Though once was bound now I’m free

I am free to love, Free to live
Free to serve, free to give
All for you-all for you
The King

You have seated me there
In Heaven with you
Given me authority

You have called me out
I have work to do
Setting those in bondage free!

They are free to love, free to live
Free to serve, free to give
All for you- all for you
Our King

I will go to the camp of the enemy
I will shout from my heart-screaming LIBERTY!
No more bondage-no more shame-no more sickness-no more pain-no more lack-no more fear-no more wait-the time is here!

We are free to love, free to live
Free to serve, free to give
All for you-all for you
The King

Copyright © by Jodi Woody
August 9, 2013

Living Beyond the Cross: Part One

We tend to set up camp at the cross, when that was never the Father’s intention. We have come to the cross to confess our sin, accepting Jesus’ atonement…and then stayed there. Some even worship the cross. We have to go beyond the cross. The work of the cross is finished. How do I know that? Because Jesus said, “it is finished!” If it wasn’t, he wouldn’t have said it. Notice he didn’t say, “it is being finished”, “the work of the cross is continual,” no he said FINISHED. Period. We respect and reverence what Jesus did there, the price he paid, the blood he shed there, but we can’t live there, can’t stay there. We have to move past. Jesus said that he was the door-we don’t stand in doors, we go through. Jesus was the door to the Father.
So what’s on the other side of the cross? The cross is the door to the Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is on the other side-the throne room. Jesus sits on that throne; he isn’t hanging on a cross. The cross couldn’t hold him, hell and the grave couldn’t hold him. He was destined, before the foundation of the world to sit on that throne. We are seated there with him, those of us who have accepted the finished work of the cross (Ephesians 2:5). Who sits on a throne? A king. Who has authority in that Kingdom? The king. The King of Kings sits on his throne in Heaven ruling his Kingdom and what does he call us? “Kings and Priests” (Revelations 5:10). What is the job of a king? To rule and reign, to use their authority to prosper the Kingdom.
I am learning-and trying to walk in this authority. It isn’t something new to me. Our Senior Pastor always talks about “A King, a Kingdom and a Royal Family.” But the word says that “Faith comes by hearing, and continuing to hear, the Word of God.” So sometimes we have to hear it over and over to get it from our heads into our hearts. Faith never takes place in our heads, always in our hearts. What our heads can’t comprehend our heart can believe. We don’t have to understand it all, just believe it all. Even the little Revelation I have received on this subject, I sometimes forget. I go back to the cross…habit, and to be honest I love to remember the love of the cross. Through some classes last week on healing and the Kingdom, some of those wrong thinking patterns were broken. So some of what I am sharing is from those classes. I hope it frees you up the way it has me.
Jesus didn’t “plead the blood”. He never said, “By the stripes on my back you are healed.” He didn’t ask his Father to heal. He prayed often, frequently all through the night, but he didn’t pray for God to heal. He hadn’t shed his blood; the cross was still in his future. But that didn’t stop him from doing his Father’s work. He healed the sick, cast out demons, cleansed lepers the list is endless. He did all of this as a man, not God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and obedience to God’s will, motivated by their love, he did these mighty works. He knew his position, knew who he was. He didn’t let the fact that he was here as a man stop him. He knew who his Father was and that all power and authority came from the Father. “I only do what I see my Father do, I only say what he says.” He continually told the Religious people of the day that his power came from the Father.
Now, he did die, hang on that cross, shed his blood, went to Hell, took the Keys, stripped Satan of his power, and was resurrected. All of that is true, and wonderful! But he also ascended into heaven where he sits on his Throne of Power and Authority. Before he left he told us to do what he did. He told us to preach. Preach what? The cross? No the Kingdom. The Kingdom is the love of the Father that wants to see his children blessed, set free, stand and walk in their authority. To be on the offensive not just defend. Take territory; don’t just try to protect the little we have. He wants his family to grow! He told us to heal the sick. We do it, through the Holy Spirit working in us. Cast out demons. Not pray them out, cast them out. Tell them to leave. They have no authority. You do.
I know some religious toes have been stepped on and some sacred cows slaughtered. But religion stinks! It’s a set of do’s and don’ts that can only dictate how to behave. It never changes a heart. Relationship with the Father, now that changes our hearts and life’s. Now we do his work out of love for him. I swallowed hard at least a dozen times over the course of this class. I kept hearing this word ‘but’ in my head. Look at it this way, the cross, the beatings, the stripes and the blood, they were all to get us to the Throne of Grace. Important, necessary and wonderful? Yes, of course. The cross was the means to an end. The work of the cross tells us ‘how’ we got in the family of God, ‘why’ we are able to be healed, delivered and saved. ‘Why’ we have our authority. It the reason we can say to the sick, “be healed,” say to those in bondage to sin and the devil, “be free.” His stripes did heal us. His blood did cleanse us. So we are healed and clean. We don’t have to ask God to do these things, they are done. Accept it. Live like its true!
When we keep going back to the cross, it’s as if we crucify him again. Wasn’t once enough? God’s word tells us it was “once for all.” Just think about that for a minute…
Can you hear him calling you from the Throne of Grace?
So maybe you screwed up yesterday, you fell away, stumbled into some old sin…so what? There is Grace in the Throne room of God. Turn from the sin. That’s all repentance is, really. It’s already under that blood. It’s already been forgiven. When we live in the Kingdom, we become his ambassadors. We find that we don’t mess up as often, we stumble less. We are, like Jesus, only doing what the Father said and saying what he told us to say. We are part of that Royal Family sharing the goodness of the King. Who wouldn’t want to come out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light with us? If you are one of those who declare themselves “a sinner saved by Grace,” stop it! God said not to call unclean the things he has made clean. Jesus’ blood cleansed us; we are clean, no more sinners but saints, Sons no longer servants. God said, he never lies.

More tomorrow…