“There can only be one princess in the castle, Mommy. There’s one castle and one window to look out. So there is only room enough for one princess–Me!”
Clearly there was trouble in the palace according to Callie. Sharing nobility in one castle with another little girl at school was tough stuff.
But I don’t think this struggle is an unusual one. I think we all wrestle with it.
But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.” When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. Acts 17:6-8
Paul and Silas had been preaching about Jesus at the synagogue in Thessalonica. A man named Jason welcomed them into his home. Some of the Jews got jealous so they drug Jason and some other believers before the city officials. They claimed Paul and his crew were a bunch of trouble makers. Their argument against them was: “They are defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.”
In other words, “This town is only big enough for one king–and it’s Caesar!”
Caesar in! Jesus out!
(By the way, this little fiasco didn’t stop Paul from preaching about Jesus.)
Then there’s Jesus’ birth. When the wise men journeyed to see Jesus, they stopped by the palace in Jerusalem to ask King Herod where the new baby King was.
“When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him,” Matthew 2:3
Another king? Nope, not gonna happen on Herod’s watch. He told the wise men to come back and tell him where they found the baby King. He said he wanted to go and worship him too, but that was a bold face lie. Later on his true motives were revealed. Because when the wise men did not return to tell Herod where the baby Jesus was at, Herod demanded that all baby boys in the vicinity of Bethlehem two years and under were to be killed (Matthew 2:16-17).
Herod in! Jesus out!
(For the record, Herod’s plan didn’t work either.)
This age old issue can be traced all the way back to the garden of Eden and the tree of knowledge. God gave Adam and Eve just one rule: Don’t eat fruit from that tree! But Satan came along and tempted Eve to eat it. He tried to get her to doubt what God had said. He cunningly said, “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” Genesis 3:5.
Ah, to have our eyes opened and enlightened–to be like God! That is our ultimate struggle. We want to be our own gods. We think: ‘Who does God think He is that He should tell us what we can or cannot do? We should be our own judges and discern for ourselves what is right and wrong. We should be able to set our own boundaries.’
We want to be the only princesses in the castle.
Arkansas recently passed a bill that the motto “In God We Trust” could be displayed in public state buildings, such as court rooms, schools, and libraries. One of the law makers being interviewed said that we need to get back to our religious roots in this country. America was founded on a belief in God, and when a society believes there is a God, the crime rate significantly goes down. If they believe in a moral code then they must believe there is a moral lawgiver—God. People are held accountable for their actions.
On the other hand, when a society does not believe in God, and they make their own rules and live by their own standards, the crime rate goes up and chaos abounds. It used to be that atheists could not run for public office. Their integrity was called into question because they did not believe there was any accountability for their actions.
Go Arkansas! That’s good stuff right there!
I believe life’s greatest question we will have to answer one day when we stand before God is, “What did we do with Jesus?” At some point we will encounter Him on life’s journey. He will come knocking on the door of our hearts. And we will have a decision to make. Will we allow Him to come in and reign as King? Or will we choose to be the kings of our own castles?
Callie and I had a great discussion about sharing the castle with her little friend, taking turns being the princess, and putting others first.
Callie was certainly wrong in her thinking, but in a way, she was kind of right too.
Because when it comes to the castle of our hearts, there’s only room enough for one king!
And it better be Jesus!