“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1) so states the very first verse of the Bible. Let’s think about that for a moment. There is nothing in existence on earth or in our universe that God did not create. NOTHING!
And in the last chapter of the last book of the Bible, Revelation 22, Jesus said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Rev. 22:13) and “I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star” (Rev. 22:16). And the last words He states in the second to the last verse of the Bible is this, “Yes, I am coming soon” (Rev. 22:20). And when He comes He will forever reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Even now, for those of us who know Him, He should be reigning over our hearts and our lives as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
But do we really believe this? Does the way we live our lives on a moment by moment, daily basis with ourselves and other people project this truth? I know I fail more times then I’d like to think about. We live in a fallen world, yet as the Apostle Paul–with his eyes and heart always fixed on the One who had redeemed him from his former way of life–wrote in Romans 1:16-25:
“16I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’
“18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse [emphasis mine].
“21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
“24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen” [emphasis mine].
Over the past several decades the culture has invaded so much of what we call “Christianity” here in America that, as I’ve noted in previous posts, many times our daily lives don’t look any different from the rest of our culture other then we’ve learned to throw in a lot of “God talk” that supposedly shows that we are different. But our actions are rarely any different from the rest of the world. For example, do you really love your enemies, and do you pray for those who spitefully use you (see Matt 5:44)? This has been a struggle of mine as I am about to end Year Number Three (on April 21) of being unemployed caused by the worst boss I have ever had in my life. And what about all the disagreeable people we run into on a regular basis (however, we rarely see ourselves as disagreeable, but then what is “wanting our own way” all the time all about if we aren’t being disagreeable with someone else in order to get our own way)?
You might be saying at this point, “So, what does that have to do with “Hail To the King”? Well, I’ve come to believe that how we treat others is exactly how our personal view of God is translated to those “others.” We can sing all the great “worship” songs on Sunday morning or at other services during the week but the minute we exit those buildings and face the reality of the world we fall flat on our faces. Our “worship” never sinks in where it can make a difference in this world–in our hearts and in our actions towards others and towards God. We’ve lost our reverence for who God is and we’ve essentially “worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator” just as Paul stated in Rom. 1:25. We end up “having a form of godliness, but denying it’s power (2 Tim. 3:5).” Let’s look at that particular passage (written by Paul) in context:
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them (2 Tim. 3:1-5).”
Usually when we read those verses we think of all of the “others” out there in the culture but do not include ourselves in that list. However, go through that list again–with open eyes and an open heart. Does any of it speak to areas in your own life?
With all of the “worship” that takes place in our churches all over this country and in contemporary Christian music, does any of it really sink in once the songs have been sung and we head back out into the world? Do we really understand that we are singing to the Creator of our entire universe, to the Lamb that was slain FOR US, to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who will one day reign forever and is seated on the Throne? And does our worship CHANGE the way we live our lives during the rest of the week? Does it CHANGE US?
One of the things I am learning is just how much praising God changes us and glorifies Him, especially when it’s the last thing on our minds or in our hearts to do. And it is something we need to do on a regular, daily basis, even when we are all alone. We can have an attitude of praise and a song in our heart to God. Sometimes when I’m beyond weary with the struggles of life and wondering if this very long trial of mine will ever end, I’ll put on a worship CD and start singing along and before I know it I will gain a strength I didn’t have before and the oppressing thoughts will vanish and I’m elevated to where God dwells–in the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3).
I want to close this post with a song that I find absolutely exhilarating (YouTube video below). It is titled “Hail To The King” and is on the “Faithful God” CD (2007) by Shannon Wexelberg, and I think this entire CD is one of the greatest worship CD’s out there today. You may have your favorites, too. I can’t tell you how many times when I’ve been really down that I’ve popped it into my CD player at home or in my car and been lifted beyond my current circumstances to see Jesus seated on the Throne and be reminded again that regardless of what I’m going through, He is still in total control.
May we all learn, more and more, to praise Him at all times and take our eyes off of ourselves. After all, He said He’d never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5). So let’s start acting like we really believe that and the best way to do that is to praise Him. Here’s the words to “Hail To The King”:
Bright Morning Star
King of all days
Reign in our hearts
Ride on our praise
You are crowned in majesty
Awaken us now
Set us ablaze
Let Your kingdom come
Let Your name be raised
Hear the song of the redeemed
Be exalted as we sing!
Hail to the King!
Hail to the Living Word!
Let praise arise
Heaven and earth
Sing praise to the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Power and strength
Are Yours alone
Hail to the King!
YouTube Video: “Hail To The King” written and sung by Shannon Wexelberg (recorded on her “Faithful God” CD, 2007):
Photo credit here