I am a horrible god.
I can’t control one single thing in my life.
Now, I strive and try and give it my best go.
I want to control the youth group I serve. I want to control circumstances in the life of my family, my marriage, my job. I want to control when and how students respond to the gospel.
During this week, I’m reading the book of Esther and listening to a sermon series that covers it. The book of Esther shows us a picture of a man who tried to be in control, who then tried to create a nation full of men who felt the same.
The guy’s name was King Xerxes.
In the first chapter we read of a humongous party that he throws. Six months straight of uninhibited feasting, drinking, and sex. All in a huge palace. It’s disgusting and deplorable. And it’s all about his own glory.
The army of Persia and Media and the nobles and governors of the provinces were before him, while he showed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor and pomp of his greatness for many days, 180 days. – Esther 1:3a-4
At the time, Xerxes was king over an empire that some history buffs estimate was three million square miles. It was massive. The chapter says that he has 127 provinces.
Now, there is archaeological evidence that sheds light on how he referred to himself. He saw himself as the greatest of kings. His enemies (sometimes) and his servants believed the same. Here was a man that was full of his own arrogance. Later in chapter one, he calls for the Queen to come in and be shown off in front of the thousands of men. She denies him that request, and all of a sudden he goes into a tail spin.
Despite his bold and provocative proclamations of his lordship and kingliness, he is still immensely insecure.
So, him and his bros come together and come up with a plan. Queen Vashti’s refusal to come before the King at his command could not be allowed to spread to other women throughout the provinces. So they decide to make a decree.
Part of the decree is as follows.
He sent letters to all the royal provinces, to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, that every man be master in his own household and speak according to the language of his people. – Esther 1:22
Now, let’s be clear from the onset, this is blatantly sexist and not at all how a Christ-honoring marriage in 2019 is supposed to work. The woman in the relationship is not called to report to you as king. As a male, you are called to lead the household, yes. But through the model of Christ who gave up His life for those He loved.
Anyway, this is the heart of what Xerxes is trying to do.
He has already acted as god, now he is trying to establish a bunch of smaller gods who are masters over their own affairs.
The satire that is under the surface of this story is that Xerxes will fall to the Greeks. His kingdom will end, only to be remembered in the annals of history. All of his attempts at being god, at being in control, of his spouse and armies and provinces ending in failure.
Guys, here’s the reality.
It’s the reality I’m coming to realize through God’s Word, through the wisdom of others, and from the circumstances of my life.
Worry, anxiety, anger, and fear are often all fruit from me trying to be god.
The loss of joy comes when I feel like I have to control my life.
The loss of joy comes when in my mind, the flourishing of my life is dependent on me.
We make horrible masters.
We make horrible gods.
I added on my prayer list today a daily prayer of “I’m Not God”. For me, in this season of my life, I know that I will need to daily respond to this reality in prayer, to see joy come into my life as I acknowledge that He is God, and He is Good.
Would you pray for me as I walk that out?
Let me know if I can pray for you in any way!
Love ya guys. This one is a little shorter and maybe not as polished, but it’s what is on my heart!
In His Name,