Are You Over-ruled or Ruled Over?
(Glorifying God devotions by Pastor Christopher Chia)
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 ESV)
One day I found our cat resting on our coffee capsules of our coffee machine. What was she thinking: “Was she giving George Clooney a run for his money as the poster feline for Nespresso?”
I had no time to ponder that philosophical question. I shooed her off. And she understandably did not like it!
Not many of us like being over-ruled in our expectations of life, being sidelined in our intentions for family, being tripped up in our pursuit of happiness or being ignored in our proposals at the workplace.
Few things rub us or grate us the wrong way more grievously than being over-ruled by someone else. Why?
We experience the bitterness of being over-ruled across the whole spectrum of life.
Whether it’s a child throwing a tantrum at a parent’s instructions. Or a spouse brewing with resentment on being talked down, again. Or an employee’s disappointment at being shot down repeatedly.
Yet, it is vitally important that we learn to distinguish between being subjectively overruled by fickle human love and being objectively “ruled over” by faithful divine love.
There is something in our fallen DNA that relishes our autonomy at any and all cost.
The Proverbs tells us, instead, to relish “theocracy” – the rightful rule of God over us – at any and all cost.
The right attitude to God’s rightful rule over our stubborn hearts is “the fear of God” which is the beginning of wisdom.
The big message of Proverbs is “fear God”. The small print is: “Be humble, not haughty, to delight in Him ruling over our hearts, plans and pursuits.”
Jesus is the ultimate wise one. He lived with a liberating awe of God from his humble birth, his servant-hearted ministry to his sacrificial death.
May we by simple faith in him, as Saviour and Lord, experience the rightness and goodness of being “ruled over” by Jesus.
When we cannot see through our tears, when we cannot face our fears, when we cannot forgive ourselves – trust in Jesus to rule over your assailed hearts.
When we will not acknowledge the depth of our pride, when we will not confess the reality of our limitations, when we will not mourn over the folly of our ways – trust also in Jesus to rule over the arrogance of our hearts.
Prayer: “O God, help me to humbly see the goodness of being ruled by the Lord Jesus from moment to moment.”