I have a confession to make: I have an ego! And, sadly, it’s far bigger than I ever realized. So much so that for the last two years I have pretty much not let God anywhere near the throne of my heart because my life has been all about ME!
The first time I realized I had an ego was back in 2002 when I woke up one morning and realized that I was utterly miserable in my job as a “Hollywood Agent.” However, the more I thought about giving up access to all of the actors, writers, directors, producers, studio executives and network executives with whom I spoke on a daily basis, the more I realized that no matter how unhappy I was, I wasn’t ready to walk away quite yet. I liked feeling important and I liked being seen as someone important in the industry (regardless of the fact that all of my friends were only “friends” because of what they thought I could do for them and for their career). And so I chose to remain on the throne of my life by staying in the job for two more years and as a result, I also chose to remain miserable!
Now for those of you who may be saying to yourself, “Well if I were her, I would never have made that choice,” I want you to think about the game of “Musical Chairs.” Did you ever play it as a kid? If so, then I’m sure you remember how it’s played, but for those of you who may not be familiar with the game, here’s how it works:
Chairs are placed in a circle and there is one less chair than there are players. So if there are ten players, then nine chairs are placed in a circle. Next, someone turns on some music and everyone walks in a circle around the chairs until the music is turned off. At that time, everyone scrambles to sit in a chair and the player who ends up without a chair is out of the game.
The game continues like this until there are only two players left and just one available chair. After that it’s a fight to the finish as both players race to be the last person standing (or “sitting” as the case may be), in order to be declared the winner.
Now let’s take this “two-person, one-chair” scenario and apply it to our relationship with Jesus Christ, only here’s the kicker in this equation: He will NOT run around a silly chair to battle us for the “privilege” of sitting on the throne of our heart. Instead, He stands in the background and waits for our invitation.
Remember this verse from Revelation 3:20? I like The Living Bible’s translation the best:
“Look! I have been standing at the door and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me.”
See, here’s the deal: God is NEVER going to try to force Himself into our lives. That’s not to say I wish He had done so a few times in my own life, as it certainly would have made things easier for me – especially when I chose to remain in my job. However, because we were created to be dependent upon Him, and not the other way around, we are the ones who need to get up from the throne of our own hearts and offer Him a seat. The good news is that as soon as we ask Him to sit down He will gladly do so. The bad news is that it’s usually not until we’ve gotten ourselves into some kind of trouble that we actually stop and do it. (At least that’s what happens in my own life!)
So trust me when I tell you that if you also struggle in this area, you’re not alone, as it is something I have to do on a daily – and sometimes hourly – basis. Particularly these days when everything in my life is topsy-turvy and the temptation to “go it alone,” in order to make (force!) things happen, is very great. Fortunately His Word reminds me that during those times when I think I can do a better job with my life than He can ...
“[He] is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion.”
(Numbers 14:18 NIV)