The world doesn't revolve around you

“So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:31-34)

I still remember where I was the day I realized that the world did not revolve around me. I was in Washington D.C., 21 years old, sitting in the top section of RFK Stadium at a Promise Keepers conference. All around me, thousands of men from all over the country stood, many with their arms raised to the sky, worshiping their God. As the swell of their voices echoed around the stadium, a sweet sound in our Lord’s ears, I suddenly realized that I was not the center of the universe. I was just one among many who had gathered that day to worship God and to commit our lives to His service.

My life of discipleship is full of moments like this, times when I need to stage a coup, depose myself, remove myself from the throne and allow God to occupy the seat that only He deserves. Times when I need to stop seeking after my kingdom and start to seek after His. There are moments every evening where my whole being wants to shirk my responsibilities and the opportunities I have to serve my family and instead go be alone and indulge my desires for entertainment and comfort. There are financial decisions almost every day where I have to decide whose money it really is, mine or God’s. There are interactions with people where I can speak and act in such a way that I point them to myself, so that I receive the glory, or humble myself and point them to God, so that He receives the honor. Over and over I have to remind myself: I am not the center of the universe. God is. So get off of His throne.

One of the most memorable books about marriage that I have read was Paul Tripp’s What Did You Expect? One of his main arguments was that we choose to marry someone because, subconsciously, we see in the other person someone who will help us fulfill the desires of our kingdom. They will help us feel good about ourselves, or provide us with the security we have been searching for, or give us someone to care for, or make our lives complete. But not before long, we find that our significant other is actually getting in the way of achieving the desires of our kingdom! They aren’t completing us. We feel worse about ourselves. We feel more insecure than ever. We are feeling resentful about caring for another person. We find ourselves sacrificing too much of what matters to us. As Tripp puts it, we end up faced with a choice – either hold on to our kingdom and either ditch the spouse or keep trying to get them to serve our desires, or lay down our kingdom and together make the marriage about God’s kingdom. Once again the challenge of discipleship is clear: get off the throne, and allow God to be the center of the universe.

So let me end by being blunt with those of you who need to hear this message. The world does not revolve around you. Other people do not exist to serve your needs and worship you. You are God’s servant, and you are one of many that God has created, loved, died for, redeemed, and chosen to do the good works He prepared for you (Ephesians 2:10). He has promised to be with you every step of the way and to reward you eternally. So get off of God’s throne, and make your life about seeking His kingdom and doing His will.

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