The Folly of Self-Rule

Michael Beck

“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” (Psalm 2:2,3)

We live in a day where everyone wants to be king and ruler of their life. All clamor for their “right to decide.” But Jesus said,  “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” (John 5:30)

Instead of insisting on His right to decide what to do, Jesus let His Father decide. He had His own will, with which He could have done many things, but that will was voluntarily submitted to the will of the Father. He did nothing of Himself. Had He not been listening to the Father, His “judgments” (i.e., decisions) would have been wrong decisions. But because He was “hearing,” His decisions were right.

We are living in a day very much like those of the book of Judges: “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 17:6) Anyone familiar with Judges knows it tells a very messy story, with atrocity after atrocity occurring. Such is what happens when everyone does what is right in their own eyes.

Wouldn’t it be better to follow the example of Jesus? What would this world be like if everyone said, “Not my will, but God’s be done”? Not listening to God comes at a painful cost. We want to be sovereign rulers of our own life, but we are very bad at running the show.

We all have the power to do things our own way, and God will even let us make a horrible mess of our life; but He has given none of us the right to usurp His rightful place. He is God and He alone has the “right to decide” what any of us should do, because He’s the only one who always gets it right. Creatures ought to worship their Creator.

“Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.” (Psalm 45:6)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.