Teenagers have a big problem with “the man.” I’m not talking about the teenage girls that got their hearts broken by that jerk of a boyfriend who used that stereotypical cheesy pickup line for the 5th time that particular week (Hi, my name is Will….. God’s Will for your life). I’m talking about “the man, a trendy word for anything that represents authority in their life. It’s actually quite ironic in how much they hate “the man” for they have such a long list of authority figures in their life. Whether it’s Bart Simpson or Jack Black from the movie “school of rock” they all want to stick it to “the man.” However, “the man” will always be in their life. Some examples of this would be:
Parents: The God given authority that is placed in their life for wisdom, guidance, protection, and discipleship in becoming more like Jesus when they are Christians.
Teenagers look at them as the idiots who don’t know anything about them and what they need in their life. They view parents are people who want to take the fun out of their life and their own parents are never as cool as their friends’ parents.
Teachers: The authority in their life that will help them get the education they need to advance in modern day life. Politically they may continue to get more and more liberal but they still hold the keys to most teen’s future concerning college and a career.
Teenagers continually ridicule these people and hardly take anything they say seriously as they feel that there is nothing new under the sun in what they are learning and will always have too much homework in their eyes.
Government, Police Officers, Bosses, you can go on and on about the different authority figures in their life who they disrespect and it comes down to a simple misperception that we all tend to have in this not so certain life. The love of self.
Q: What authority in your life do you have a hard time obeying and trusting in? How does the love of self play into that disobedience?
We are a selfish world in the midst of a selfish generation who thinks that life evolves around them. From the love of celebrity and fame to the ongoing pressure to become popular and cool. To the continued pressure of accepting everyone in the name of tolerance to the idea of happiness being the sole purpose of one’s life.
Dr. Jean M. Twenge, author of the book “Generation Me” said this about the advice the world gives teenagers in everyday life……
- Worried about how to act in a social situation? “Just be yourself.”
- What did you learn about your alcohol, drug, pornography, (fill in the blank) addiction? “I learned a lot about myself.”
- Concerned about your performance? “Believe in yourself.”
- Should you buy that new pair of shoes, new purse, get that tattoo, piercing? “Yes, it’s just expressing yourself.”
- Why should you leave that unfulfilling relationship/quit the boring job/tell off your mother-in-law? “You have to respect yourself.”
- Trying to get rid of a bad habit? “Be honest with yourself.”
- Confused about the best time to date or get married? “You must love yourself before you can love someone else.”
- Should you express your opinion? “Yes, stand up for yourself.”
It is all about self.
Call it pride, call it cockiness, call it an ego-trip… call it what you want but know that it takes away from the picture God paints for us in Scripture on how much we need Jesus as king of our selfish lives.
Q: What is the purpose/role of a king? In what way is this role good? In what way is this role bad?
A king is an authority figure we have a hard time understanding as American teenagers. A king is a head of state/country who exercised monarchal powers over a territory, which is usually called a kingdom. We have a hard time believing anything has power over us living in the land of the free. Don’t like the president? Start a grassroots campaign to impeach him? Don’t like your parents? Disrespect them and sneak around their rules because no one has power over you. Most other people are used to this type of power over their life and Israel, God’s people in the Old Testament is one example.
Israel felt left out of the in crowd for all other people groups had a kingship around them. So like any teenager that doesn’t get their way they whined and complained to their authority about how bad their life is and how everyone else has it better then them. In 1 Samuel 8 they begged Samuel for a king over them and Samuel went to God in prayer. God as Prophet told Samuel this about their upcoming Kingship:
“Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 8 According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. 9 Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.” 1 Samuel 8:7-9
Samuel then gave them a prophetic description of the power, authority, and control that this human king will have over them and how it will take the place of God’s kingship over them. Israel hardened their hearts to his voice of truth and said that they wanted to be like all of the other nations around them. Therefore God gave them their earthly king and in the same way He has given today’s teenagers their own new king…. themselves.
Q: We make ourselves kings over our own lives….. How is this similar to Israel’s stubbornness to have kings over themselves?
You see it’s hard to hear God’s voice of truth amidst the lies, to see God interceding for our sin that separates us from Him. It’s hard because we bow down before ourselves and make ourselves kings. This act does just as much harm as Israel’s wicked earthly kings. We are in love with ourselves, the only thing that we allow to have authority, power and control over our decisions and future. We are kings of our lives and kings of our pleasure, kings of our relationships and kings of our future. As Christians this turns into a separation of our church lives and our school lives, our church relationships and our school relationships. We worship Jesus on Sunday morning and Wednesday night but worship all types of false gods in our life. Not only do we disobey any type of authority figure in our life but also we disobey Jesus as our king and authority in life.
The trouble is that we make horrible kings.
Q: In what ways do we make horrible kings of our lives?
Like Samuel and God warned Israel, He warns us still today. You don’t have control of your life and the power to do anything you want with no one telling you that you are wrong. You may feel like you have that power and control over these things but it’s a vapor that will disappear as the sobering truth of King Jesus looms over us in the passage we have been looking at the last couple weeks:
12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. Hebrews 10:12-14
Notice how Christ sat down at the right hand of His Father after sacrificing His life for ours and rose from the dead in victory over Satan, sin, and death. He sits there at the throne of God, which is reserved for the king. King Jesus is there waiting for the time that all His enemies will be made a footstool for his feet as he shows that all things are beneath his rule. Jesus himself sits on this glorious throne (matt. 19:28) fulfilling the prophecies made about the ruler over all of the universe as one who’s throne will reign forever and whose righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. However it’s important to note that Jesus rules today and not just in the future. This one act on the cross shows His great power and authority over our selfish lives as He resurrected from death with our sins beaten down in a way that only a warrior king could’ve done it. No matter how much you depend on yourself you need to know that Jesus as king rules over you. This can be a good or bad thing.
It’s good in a way that shows how He is in control and sovereign over all things around you and has power over all things that hurt you, harm you, tempt you, deceive you, and tries to control you.
When parents are getting a divorce and you are stuck in the middle… Jesus as king has control over the situation and will use it for His glory.
When friends backstab you and dating relationships fall apart… Jesus as king has the power to restore hope in your life as you depend on Him.
When you are about to give up on a sin that you fighting against and struggling with… Jesus as king has already fought that battle for you on the cross and will not give you anything that you cannot withstand.
Jesus as king is sitting on His throne proving His victory over all things in life in sin and death and will be there for you no matter what the situation and if you’re totally honest with yourself, you need this. Because admit it. You can’t conquer these things. For how much you depend on yourself to get what you want out of a friendship, a relationship, or life in general you know at the bottom of your heart that you don’t know jack about what is best for your life. You make decisions based on pleasure and it is temporary pleasure as all things on earth goes back to the dirt it came from. Materials, relationships, popularity… nothing lasts in this kingdom of self and it shows how much more we need Jesus as king. Jesus like any good king in history fought for you and your life and brings victory into it.
Q: In your own words, how does Jesus make a better king for your life?
This brings us to the bad part thing about Jesus as king. When we don’t allow Him as king of our daily lives and actions we soon have a life of anarchy. Things get out of control quickly as temptations turn into sin and sin turns into an addiction. In an addiction to sin we lose control of the very thing we tried to obtain in our selfish kingship over our lives. It starts out with us wanting control of our life but soon falls into the hands of Satan who now has control over the areas of our life where we fail to give Jesus ownership of.
This means that there is no part of our life that Jesus does not have a right to, our dating life, our relationship with our parents, teachers, bosses or friends. He has authority over the websites we visit on the Internet and the words we use around our friends. This means that when you don’t let mom and dad see your texts on your phone, facebook messages, etc. then you don’t let King Jesus have authority over these things. He has control over our future and when we give Him that kingship that He alone has fought for in our lives. Only then are we able to live a life reflecting His glory and pointing people to the Gospel in which Jesus will speak to others around us as the great prophet, priest and king that is shown in our daily lives.
Q: In what areas of your life do you need Jesus as king to rule and control? How does this point others around you to the Gospel?