I sit back and relax as I look around.
Pleased with what I see.
For the most part.
But something is off.
Out of place.
I realize the chair I am sitting in is not the most comfortable piece of furniture in the place.
But it is the only furniture.
A large, padded throne, in the center of the space.
And it is mine.
So I am sitting on it.
No matter how uncomfortable it is!
I wiggle a bit, looking for a more comfy position.
But then I feel a hand on my shoulder.
And it suddenly comes to me.
I don’t own this chair any more.
In fact, nothing in this room is really mine.
I am the steward of it all.
But I have not been the owner of this place for a long time.
I look into the eyes of the One who is standing beside the throne of my heart.
And my seat suddenly becomes unbearably painful.
He doesn’t say a word.
He just gazes at me.
Warmth and love in His eyes.
But no smile on His face.
Instead, a gentle sadness.
Not because I have disappointed Him.
But because of the pain it causes me when I usurp His rightful place.
I am not even sure how I managed to get myself back up here.
Onto this throne.
Because I surrendered it – and all the contents of my heart – to Him a long time ago.
No wonder it is unbearable to sit here!
As the realization of what I have done – again – washes over me, I slide to the floor in a heap.
It dawns on me that my robes, once brilliantly white, are splotched with stains.
I hadn’t really noticed them until now.
But when I become aware of Him, aware of His presence, they become impossible to ignore.
They are the stains of sins that I have committed.
It is filth picked up by my own choices.
Things I have watched.
Things I have said.
Things I have done.
And the things I have not done that I knew He was asking me to do.
And suddenly it is all very clear.
Where I am wrong.
Where I have allowed old thought patterns to creep in.
Where I have allowed new influences to take over.
Where I have slipped out of alignment with Him.
And His ways.
Those slow, subtle things that have put distance between us.
And caused me to re-throne myself as Queen of My Heart.
I also become aware of the heavy weights I feel.
Burdens strapped all over me.
Some large, some small – but none placed there by His hand.
These are items I have picked up along the way.
Problems to be solved.
Relationships in arrears.
Concerns about things that are beyond my control.
(Which, really, is everything.)
Evidence of my propensity to worry.
To sin by forgetting. Failing to remember that He is in control, that I can trust Him.
All these things are weighing me down.
He has not spoken yet.
He does not have to.
This is not the first time I have kicked Him off the throne of my heart.
Fortunately, He refuses to ever leave me, to throw up His hands in disgust.
But He also refuses to force Himself into first place in my life, to take the throne by compulsion or coercion.
So, each time He quietly waits until I notice that He is off the throne and I am on it. Again.
But now, I slip off the burdens I have been carrying and lay them at His feet.
Along with the tattered, stained garments of self-righteousness.
Judgement of others.
Where I have taken matters into my own hands.
And where I have doubted Him. His character. His heart.
Splotches of selfishness along with scattered stains of pride.
So much pride.
And now I am crying.
Engulfed by shame.
Stripped of every burden.
And the filthy rags of my so-called righteousness.
But also filled with weariness.
Frustration with myself.
With this battle.
These never ending burdens.
Laying in a heap before Him, I cry out my confession, an apology.
“Create in me a clean heart, Oh God! Renew a right spirit in me!
Forgive me for carrying things that clearly belong to You.
Forgive me for not trusting You with the burdens of my days.
And forgive me for forgetting that You are God and I am not.
Please forgive my selfishness. My pride.
Anything that separates me from You.
Keep me from hidden sins as well. Give me Your eyes to see my world – and myself.
Restore unto me the joy of my salvation.
I know I am always Yours – but take this distance between us away!
Forgive me for allowing it in the first place!
Create in me a clean heart, Oh God!”
And, instantly, two strong hands reach for mine.
He lifts me to my feet, beaming a smile.
He wipes the tears from my eyes.
I look down and realize that I am once again clothed in spotless white.
The stains and the burdens have all disappeared.
The guilt and shame as well.
I am restored.
He holds me close in His arms as He once again settles onto His rightful place on the throne. The arms that stretched out wide at Calvary wrap tightly around me, holding me close.
The Voice that spoke the world into existence whispers my name.
He kisses the top of my head and whispers, “Beloved, let’s begin again. A fresh start. Stay close to me. Keep Me here on the throne and all will be well.”
How I wish that scene was a one-time event in my life.
How I wish it was a “one and done” process in this battle with sin.
And in one sense, it is.
Jesus died once for all mankind.
Once to take the penalty for our sin, the wrath of God upon Himself on the cross.
It is why He cried out, “It is finished!” on the cross.
The war has already been won.
But my battle with sin is not “one and done”.
It is an ongoing process. And will be until Jesus comes back again or God calls me Home.
The battle is a sometimes daily reinstating of God on the throne of my heart.
And sometimes it is hourly. Or even heartbeat to heartbeat at times.
The goal of the Christian life is not perfection on this earth.
Because that is not possible.
We will wrestle with sin until we are finally delivered from these sinful bodies and this sin-soaked world.
The goal is for there to be longer and longer periods of time where God IS the King of My Heart.
Where I have not kicked Him off the throne.
And where there is no distance between us caused by my sin.
The flip side of that goal?
For there to be shorter and shorter gaps between when He convicts me of a sin, whispering to my conscience, and where I confess it and begin again in a new direction.
These two things – lengthening the gap of time where He truly is in charge of me and shortening the gap between the time He convicts and time I confess, beginning again – these are the hallmarks of maturity in Christ. And they are the keys to victory.
Making one long and one short is how you beat sin.
How you break an addiction.
Conquer a habitual sin.
Add a spiritual discipline.
Gain the day-in and day-out victory.
One day at a time.
One heartbeat at a time.
One confession at a time.
Who is on the throne of your heart today?
If it is not the King of Kings, what are you waiting for?
Call out to Him. He’s waiting for you.