John 15:10 – (Jesus said) If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.
In the child's game, King of the Hill, the object was to be king. I find that I like to be at the top of my "hill". I like the heady feeling of being in control, of having the best view, and of having the power to fend off my "enemies." It has been my observation, though, that my moments at the top of the hill are very short-lived, and never peaceful. I always have to defend my position. I never get to enjoy that heady view because my eyes are constantly searching for the attack of the enemy. And, like me, the enemy has a taste for violence.
I thought I could handle the enemy, and sometimes I can, for about three minutes. But the enemy, all those nasty thoughts, those temptations, those habits, keep rushing at me from all sides and I know I'm helpless against the lot of them. Pretty soon, one of those enemies stands at the top of my hill. These "enemies" may shove each other around and vie for top position, but it's usually one of them and not me that rules. I find myself rushing uphill, angry, frustrated, wanting to shove that enemy down. Sometimes I succeed and get to be at the top for about three minutes. But usually, I spend a whole lot of time running uphill, with violence, frustration and anger increasing in me until I find myself not wanting to play anymore. But the game goes on without me. It's supposed to be my hill, but I never get to rule over it, and now I don't even get to play. I curl up at the bottom of my hill, hold my head in my hands and give up; it's a hopeless situation.
Then I feel a slight nudge. "Leave me alone," I think. I'm too mad and frustrated to deal with anything. I feel the nudge again, and there He is, the true King. "OK," I think, "What have I got to lose." I invite Him to be King of the Hill. He strolls up to the top and smiles at me. He's so much bigger than all my enemies are, that when they see Him they give up and run away. He motions for me to stand at the top of my hill with Him. I lift up my head and unfold my body and walk up to stand next to Him. He picks me up and holds me close. He lifts me up high and I can see a better view than ever before while He's holding me. I thought my hill was something special, and it is, but from this vantage, I can see mountains and valleys and fields and forests. It is finally peaceful and I drink in the view below. It's beautiful. I wonder why I waited so long to let Him be King of my hill. I thank Him for scaring away the enemies and for standing at the top of my hill, for being King.
Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for wanting to rule my own life. Help me to trust You and to relinquish all control to you. Thank you for loving me enough to show me my stubborn pride, and thank you for your forgiveness and acceptance. Amen.