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Who died and made you King

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Who died and made you King?

Before I start I want you guys to know that I truly hate guys with a testimony like mine.  So many time when people give there testimony it becomes this who caught the biggest fish story that the next person is trying to top.  I am by no means proud of my past; it’s full of despicable behavior, blatant sins against God, and hatred and anger not only against God, but also the church, and his people.  However, for the sake of this sermon I am going to share with you a little about how many years ago I fell away from God.

When I came out of high school I was on fire for the Lord.  I had experienced some very unique things witnessing for the Lord during my previous couple year prior to graduation.  I was working with a street evangelist from Detroit and God used us mightily.  I had seen demon possessed people delivered, I had seen the spiritual gifts active outside the four walls of church, and I had seen the type of miracles you hear missionaries talk about in other countries happen in places like a Burger King parking lot, or in someone’s living room.  So when I reflect on my early years within ministry I reflect on them like Luke did when he wrote the book of Acts.

As these things happened and the gospel spread around throughout my high school it came with a price.  The more I became closer with God and lived in a way that pleased him the more relationships in my life seem to change.  Friends that I had grown up with since the age of 5 would no longer hang with me; my girlfriend of 3 years broke up with me because I wouldn’t have sex with her.  During this time also there came out of the woodworks a group of Satan worshipers that were attacking everything I was doing in the ministry always harassing me.

Well to make a long story short, the pressure mounted within our ministry I looked around and I realized I had no real Christian friends.  At the time our church had no real Pastor, and all my closest friends and my ex-girlfriend were always out Partying and having a good time.  During this time I began to analyze there lives and came to the realization that for all the sin they were doing a lot of them never really suffered any real consequences.  But that was my first mistake and the first real time I had let my spiritual guard down. 

You see I began to take my eyes off the Lord, because of the weight of my personal needs, and slowly I began to plot intellectually, and in my own flesh I began to figure out how I could provide for my own needs rather then trust the Lord for them.  I now began watching my friends lives rather then keeping my focus, my eyes, my heart, and my mind on the Lord.  I was feeling really down and that’s when the day came that changed my life for fifteen years. 

During the entire ministry I was doing during that time my friends called me always trying to get me to go out with them drinking or to a party.  It even became a joke among them to see who could get me to fall.  As I began to hurt and I also began to watch people around me, and slowly I took my eyes my eyes off the Lord and I became to be a lot more “understanding” of what they were doing.  I began to justify to myself there sin intellectually to better understand them and that’s when it happened.

It started on a Friday night.  The phone rang, I was alone, and my friends called me with some exciting news.  They said, “We are at a party down the street.  You got to come hang with us.  Besides that your ex-girlfriend is here and she asked me to call you because she misses the old you.”  After a long pause on the phone I agreed to just come over and see everyone but not to go in.

When I got there they were all waiting for me out side so I parked my car on the side of the road and hung out there talking with them.  Let me tell you they were happy to see me.  They began harassing me about how we all used to be boys and they miss that.  They feared I had gone off the deep end and couldn’t understand what I have become.

 I sat and listened and began to realize that I really did miss my friends.  Then came the kicker.  My ex-girlfriend came out of the party toward the car looking all sexy, and she came right up to me and plants a big kiss on me, hands me a beer, grabs my hand and begin to pull me into the Party.  It was at that moment the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Your decisions determine your destiny.  Don’t dethrone God!”

When she took me into the Party my friends followed behind and all of them stopped and they wanted to give a toast to my “return as on of them.”   When they raised there beers up and made the toast I knew with everything in me that if I took that sip of beer it would destroy all the ministry that had been done over the last few years in my life, that I would discredit the reality of God to everyone watching, and it would completely ruin my testimony. 

It was one of those surreal moments, like a car crash, where everything slows down and your whole life flashes before you.  I knew that this moment meant something.  However, when the toast finished, I looked at all “I” was missing and I took that sip of beer and as I did I realized that I had just taken Jesus off his thrown in my life and placed myself in his chair.

Tonight this is what I want to talk to you about tonight.  The title of this sermon is “who died and made you king.”  Turn with me to 1 Kings 1:5-9

1 Kings 1:5

5 Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, “I will be king.” So he got chariots and horses ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him. 6 (His father had never interfered with him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?” He was also very handsome and was born next after Absalom.)

7 Adonijah conferred with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they gave him their support. 8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei and Rei and David’s special guard did not join Adonijah.

9 Adonijah then sacrificed sheep, cattle and fattened calves at the Stone of Zoheleth near En Rogel. He invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah who were royal officials, 10 but he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the special guard or his brother Solomon 

As I look over this scripture I see what I call the “King Syndrome” prevalent in this passage.  The syndrome is one of the most rampant things I see among young adults and “church people” within the body of Christ.  It is the biggest turn off to the secular world around us, and it is the reason in my view that liberalism, multi-culturalism, tolerance, and the secular progressive philosophy are now so widely spread. 

Like some of you I have spent much of my life away from church.  When I was growing up all every preacher spoke about was hell and everything in the world that made you go there.  Stuff like movies, music, radio, MTV, makeup, long hair, tattoos, and so on.  Preachers were real good at telling you what not to do.  The problem was they never could tell you what to do.  They would say, “Be separate from the world!” And they meant it!

When I look around and see the world and its sin.  I don’t see a world lost to itself I see a world left to itself.  The church has isolated itself and created its own culture within the culture.  The people have built their foundations based on bad theology, feel good philosophies, prosperity gospels, and law.  In turn a rebellious world did what a rebellious word does.  It has lumped Christianity into the religious pile, because that is exactly how has presented to them. 

We as Christians have to become real when looking at why the world is the way it is.  In my view the world is a direct reflection of the failures of the church.  Despite whether it is fair or not people hold Christians to a higher standard and we as a church body have let them down. This brings me back to our passage of scripture.

Adonijah, grew up in church, his Father was hand picked by God to rule over his people and had a special anointing by God.  There is no doubt in my mind Adonijah knew about the living God, the principles which David his father followed, and the expectations of God’s word.  When I studied this passage of scripture I began to realize Adonijah and I had a lot in common.  Despite the truth about God around us, despite the testimonies of God witnessed, it never became a reality in our life.

I believe Adonijah choose YAHWEH as his God, but never made him Lord over his life.  He was more concerned with his concerns then God’s will. There is a difference then a God we believe and one I make Lord.  When you make Jesus Lord of your life you are in essence saying Jesus you have authority over my life and your will is superior to my desires. 

Lordship over our lives in Christ Jesus is the difference between the hypocrisy the world sees in religion, and the power of the Holy Spirit working through a man of faith.  Lordship is the difference between your salvation and the deception of thinking you’re saved just because you believe.

When talking about Lordship I don’t believe it can truly be understood outside of the concept servanthood.  For Christ to be lord in our lives it calls for us to be his servants.  This means our salvation is defined by our obedience to our Lord.

Consider these scriptures:

Acts 6:7

7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith

Romans 1:5-6

5 Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. 6 And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:19

19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

Romans 6:16

16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

2 John 6

6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands

As you can see there is a distinct relationship between obedience and salvation.  Our complete dependence in God must for a victorious life in God.  It is out the obedience birthed from salvation that we ultimately find God purpose for our lives.  We see this in the story of Adonijah.  God will was already spoken but Adonijah was not in tune with the will of God and that ultimately cost him his life.

Let’s look at the downfall of Adonijah closer in 1 Kings 1.  In verse 5 it states, “He put himself forward”.  In other words seeing the circumstances in his life Adonijah began to plot out his path.  He in his mind began to take matters into his own hands, calculate how to get what he wanted and make plans. 

How many times in our own lives when tough circumstances arise, or when certain situations come about do we use them for our own wants instead of standing firm in accordance to God’s will.  For example, when you are alone with your girlfriend or boyfriend and things get a little heated do you allow lines to be crossed that you shouldn’t because you’re feeling a little tingly.  When a friends Birthday arises and he or she comes to you to go out and celebrate, Do you let down your guard “just for one night.”  When you’re uncomfortable among new people do you lie about yourself to make yourself look better?  These are all cases of taking Jesus off the throne and replacing him with your desires.

When I read this I think of times in my own life when I have sinned and have calculated in my mind all the scenarios in order to get away with it.  Adonijah was very blatant with his sin to the point of defiling the will of God.  He deliberately stated, “I will be King!”   This is the “king syndrome” at its best.   When there is something we want, when it’s something we desire we are willing to trade anything to get it.  In essence we take Christ off of the throne of our hearts and minds and impose our own will over his Lordship.

In the meantime the whole world is watching.  It’s amazing to me how we plot our own sins out while our friends and family are watching.  If I asked you a straight question like, “Do you want your friends to go to heaven?”  Most of was without question would answer in a resounding, “YES!”  But the reality is that the Jesus they are seeing is the one that you are showing them with your life.  How many times do we dethrone Christ in a year to better fit into out friend’s lifestyle?  More importantly how many of our friends are going to hell because the Jesus they see is in the way we live.  A perfect example of this type of trade off is Judas.  Judas traded Jesus for 40 pieces of silver. 

Understand that I believe that Judas absolutely believed that Jesus was the Christ, the only Son of God.  However, it was more important for Judas to have a king over Israel then it was for him to have a Lord over his life.  So I ask you here tonight, what are you willing to trade Jesus for in your life?  What is the price for your testimony? Who is sitting on the throne of your heart?

Now there was a reason why Adonijah put himself on the throne of his heart.  There was a reason why God never sank into his Spirit and became real in his life.  The answer is found in verse 6 where the statement is made, “Why do you behave the way you do?” 

In essence what it is saying that Adonijah was not a man of discipline.  Discipline in itself calls for obedience and self control in order to achieve the desired goal.  In the discipline of karate like church there are people who come and they go through the motions, there are others who learn just enough to get by, and then there are other who go through the whole program the right way. 

In all cases concerning karate, the test of where your true discipline comes in is when you are thrown into the fire and have to fight another opponent.  When fighting your trained to look for weaknesses in your opponent and exploit them.  In other words, in the area where you have slacked off in your training is exactly the areas you can expect to get attacked.  If this is true in a discipline like karate, how much more does it apply to our spiritual lives before God.

We as Christians have to have the discipline to train ourselves by building up our relationship with God.  This is done in three ways.  It is done through our prayer life, through our devotional life and of course by evangelizing and making others disciples.  If we refuse to do all three I believe we fail as Christians.  Becoming a Christian means we get in the game and not sit on the sidelines.  In karate when you reached black belt status you are required to teach.  In the same way while, care groups, bible studies, and church are important we can’t forget there purpose.  There purpose is to train you to become witness for Christ. 

Two years ago I went to a karate tournament to fight.  There were about thirty black belts enrolled in the tournament.  Now because there are no belts after a black belt a person could a black belt for 3 months or for 30 years. Now in a tournament everyone throws there name in a hat and you have to fight the name the pull.  When I went to the fight I drew the number 3 ranked fighter in the world.  Can you imagine what would could of happened to me in that fight if I would of slacked off in my training. 

How much more relevant is this analogy when we are in the fight for our souls and for our friends souls.  What will the enemy do to a Christian who isn’t really training his spiritual inner man the right way, but is trying to witness to his friends and act like a spiritual person.  Discipline is key in our Christian walk.

Adonijah also did something that a lot of people do in the church when they take Jesus off the throne.  They confide in old friends.

Verse 7 states:

7 Adonijah conferred with Joab son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest, and they gave him their support.

So often when we consciously decide to do things our way instead of Gods way we surround ourselves with people that are yes people.  These are people who will tell you exactly what you want to hear, they will empower you through there own hurts in order to achieve there own selfish purposes.

There is an old saying, “birds of a feather flock together.”  This saying could not be truer.  When I smoked pot I hung out with potheads, when I drank I hung out with those who drank,  isn’t it funny that I’ll bet everyone of us in this room could think of an old friend we could call that would more than happily help you sin or be a willing accomplice to it.  

Adonijah surrounded himself by Joab, who had a grudge against his father David for having him replaced as commander and Abiathar who was willing ready to betray David for power.  More telling than this however are those who wouldn’t follow Adonijah and thos he wouldn’t invite when he set himself up as king.

Look at verse 8 and 10:

8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei and Rei and David’s special guard did not join Adonijah.

10 but he did not invite Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the special guard or his brother Solomon 

Adonijah would have no part of the men that God had ordained as leaders.  This also tells me that he truly new God’s will for this situation, but he decided to neglect Gods will and do what he thought was best for himself.  He was his own king, but he did not allow God to be Lord over his life. 

So many times when we sin like Adonijah.  We put the thought forward in our minds and begin to put it in motion.  When we do this we dethrone Jesus over our lives.  Most of us know God’s will.  Most of us have an understanding of right and wrong.  However, how many times do we just toss in his blessings which come out of obedience, for the desire of our own hearts?  How many times do we begin to justify our actions in order to do as we wish rather then live out the truth God has placed in our lives?  How many times do we trade Jesus for our 40 pieces of Gold?   

 What made Adonijah evil was not that he sinned, but it was that he new better.  That he was walking around as a child of Abraham but living like a Pagan.  Verse 9 states he went to the temple and made sacrifices.  Why do you think he did that? 

I believe it was to show the rest of his peers that he was “Godly”.  He was foolish enough to think he could used God to try to get what he wanted.  He thought somewhere in his distorted mind that he could put up a front and it wouldn’t catch up with him. 

There those here tonight who have a front going on there lives.  They have fooled the ones around them, they have deceived church members and there leaders and they think they have gotten away with it.  You have mocked Gods grace by your actions and like Adonijah your running out of time.  For ultimately when we mock God in this way you are calling upon yourself God’s judgment.  Make no mistake God’s will prevails whether you become a part of it or not.

This type of behavior is what made Adonijah evil and all the while the world is watching.

I want to share with you a little parable from the New Testament:

Mark 8:14

14 The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15 “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

16 They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”

17 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”

“Twelve,” they replied.

20 “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”

They answered, “Seven.”

21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

Here is the point of this parable and this sermon.  There are some of you that having been playing church for so long that you have bought the lie yourselves.  Like the disciples, you have seen the healings, you have seen the miracles, and signs and wonders, you have heard sermon and after sermon, but still you yourself do not get what being a Christian is all about. 

Like Adonijah, you know how to speak church, to say the right thing to the Pastor, to your parents and get away with your Christian walk.  But also like Adonijah make no mistake there is one you can not fool and that is God. 

The world is watching while you’re dull in your Christianity.  Some people are so dull in there spirituality that they have resorted there entire theology around standing firm on not watching the Da Vinci Code or a Harry Potter movie.  These are the Pharisee’s of our time!  They do not get it.  They are so dull spiritually they base the foundation of Christianity on making Laws on which the rest of the world should live up to.  They are so blinded under the blanket of the laws they created they themselves are left powerless in the Spirit and if they paused for a second they would see it by their fruit! 

The world sees a cultish like Christianity with a legalistic membership and they wonder how anyone could live like that.  There are some of us here tonight who kill Christ over and over again by the testimony of there lives.  They have walked the walk of hypocrisy and have made themselves kings of there own type Christianity and all while the world watches.

Let me tell you I believe that God wants us to experience him intimately, and as his sons and daughters his desire is to let his power manifest from our hearts to others.  This doesn’t happen by playing the part of Christianity this happens by becoming what the Gospel is.  When will we as Christian understand that you can’t please God by what you do and you can not please god by what you don’t do.  We can only please God by obedience to his word.

It’s time to stop making stupid rules, and creating folk theologies and start showing the world the power of the Holy Spirit.  It doesn’t happen by not listening to CD or by not watching the Da Vinci Code.  It happens by having such an intense relationship with God that his power is transparent in your life in any situation.  If we are to win the war of the world we need to do whatever it takes to have the type of relationship with God that we truly are the “salt of the earth” and a “light to the darkness”

Some of you have your own version of Christianity with no real scriptural bases.  You believe what you have been told and that’s what you tell others.  You are the kings and your sitting on the throne and you have decided what and who you will allow in your life.  This brings me back to the Story of Adonijah.  Adonijah cut out from his life everyone and everything that was anointed. 

He was so far gone that he would not allow God’s anointed people to speak into his life.  In the same way there are leaders that preach and teach every week with sermon after sermon, and study after study purely designed to speak into your life.

If you never fall under the authority of those God has anointed, if you never learn to trust leadership then you will never truly find God’s will.  If we look forward in the chapter (1 Kings) you will see how the prophet Nathan began to council Solomon and Bathsheba concerning this situation. Both of them allowed God’s anointed to speak into there lives and ultimately Gods plan unraveled for them and Solomon became king.

I speak to you tonight as someone who has lived out 15 years of backslidden, selfish, hypocritical Christianity.  I know what it is to isolate in my Christianity and say all the right things.  I know what it is like to say that I am under authority but either complain or never participate in the programs the Pastor of the church, God’s anointed leader appoints.  I know what it is like to play church and to be a Pharisee. I have shared with you tonight a part of my life and my testimony and have tried to be real with you guys. 

But the real question here tonight is will you be real with God? I know that there are many tonight who believe in God, but have you made him Lord of your life, over your thoughts, over your actions?  Allow me to speak into your lives and say that no one said the Christian walk was going to be easy. However, the time for fooling around is over.  It’s time for some of us here tonight to completely surrender your lives to God and make him Lord.  To walk away from addictions and hidden sins and say Jesus set me free.

Bow your heads with me!

If you have never made Jesus Lord in your life please raise your hands.

Maybe there are areas in your life you know you need to turn over to the Lord then please raise your hand.

Everyone pray this with me.  Lord Jesus, I come humbly before you, to ask you into my heart.  I give you everything right here and now,  I want you to be Lord over my life, my heart and my mind.  From this day forth I will live your truth.!

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