Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Real Princess...

You are royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

Emily and I were outside together a couple of days ago pulling weeds and bagging them up. It's so nice to have help from my big 8-year- old! In the midst of our chores, we started talking about swimsuits (never know what might come up with an 8-year-old, right?) Emily had been invited to go swimming with a friend that day and we soon remembered she had left her swimsuit at another friend's house the week before. Emily and I decided we'd make a run to Target prior to going to her friend's house and get her another swimsuit. After just a short few seconds of silence, she asked if we could get a two-piece. Now, just so you know where I'm coming from, modesty is something we take seriously and are teaching to our children. So, the thought of my daughter (even if she's only 8) parading around in a two-piece is not a welcoming thought to me or to her daddy. So, I gave her the "mean mommy", we won't be buying a two-piece, which catapulted the conversation into an investigation as to why Mommy doesn't like two pieces. In my explanation to her, out of the blue (not planned ahead), this came out of my mouth... "God created our bodies in a very special way and I don't think He wants us to show off our bodies to anyone other than our husband or wife." Whoa! Thank you, Lord, for those words in a time of needing an explanation to satisfy my 8-year-old! Em was satisfied with my answer and was set on finding a one-piece. Whew! That one went over fairly easily...

So, that conversation with Emily has been on my mind since and has had me pondering over who we are in Christ vs. who we are in this world. This world would have us to be one way, but Christ calls us to be another. Our worth is not measured by the statutes of this world, but by our identity in Him. Sounds easy, right? However, it's not always this simple. How are we to know what is the world's way and what is Christ's way? 

When you were little, did you play dress-up? Little girls love to play dress-up and almost always will choose the princess dresses, complete with tiaras, jewelry and fancy shoes. Both of my girls love dress-up and I've noticed that as soon as the dress is pulled over their heads, there's something about their countenance that changes. It's as if, all of a sudden, they believe they have become a real princess! They walk differently, talk differently; they are playing the part of royalty. However, at some point in the little girl's life, as she gets older, she loses the belief that she is a real princess.

As Christ's followers, we have become royalty! Jesus is the High King, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. I believe this beyond a shadow of a doubt. I also believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God and that every word in that book is true. In the Bible, Christians are addressed as a royal priesthood, a chosen people...people chosen by the High King. We are also children of the High King, which would make us members of the royalest of royal families! So, in actuality, I am a real princess!

In 1 Peter 2:9, Peter addresses the saints and declares them to be "royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession" and then instructs them to "show others the goodness of God". Why? because He "called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light". As royalty, how is one to act? The royalty we belong to is not the royalty of this world where kings and princesses stand on thrones elevated above the crowds, walking with their noses in the air, convinced that those around them are of less importance. The royalty of Jesus Christ's family is one of kindness, goodness, love and mercy. Oswald Chambers describes our place in the royal priesthood as disregarding ourselves and launching into a priestly work of prayer...

By what right have we become "a royal priesthood"? It is by the right of the atonement by the Cross of Christ that this has been accomplished. Are we prepared to purposely disregard ourselves and to launch out into the priestly work of prayer? The continual inner-searching we do in an effort to see if we are what we ought to be generates a self-centered, sickly type of Christianity, not the vigorous and simple life of a child of God. Until we get into this right and proper relationship with God, it is simply a case of our "hanging on by the skin of our teeth," although we say, "What a wonderful victory I have!" Yet there is nothing at all in that which indicates the miracle of redemption. Launch out in reckless, unrestrained belief that the redemption is complete. Then don’t worry anymore about yourself, but begin to do as Jesus Christ has said, in essence, "Pray for the friend who comes to you at midnight, pray for the saints of God, and pray for all men." Pray with the realization that you are perfect only in Christ Jesus, not on the basis of this argument: "Oh, Lord, I have done my best; please hear me now."

How long is it going to take God to free us from the unhealthy habit of thinking only about ourselves? We must get to the point of being sick to death of ourselves, until there is no longer any surprise at anything God might tell us about ourselves. We cannot reach and understand the depths of our own meagerness. There is only one place where we are right with God, and that is in Christ Jesus. Once we are there, we have to pour out our lives for all we are worth in this ministry of the inner life.

(Taken from My Utmost For His Highest daily devotion.)

I am only a princess because of what the King has done for me. I am not a princess by anything that I have done. My role as a real princess is not playing dress-up and presenting a beautiful picture in a mirror. Rather, my role as a real princess is to behave as true royalty, presenting a beautiful reflection of the King I serve.

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