The following blog was written by Renee Dugan, full time employee of Spirit & Truth Fellowship International.
Thrones are powerful symbols. They have long stood to represent the seat of power for kings, even substituted as a direct reference for that power or the one who holds it. The Bible is no different; thrones are referenced throughout Scripture to establish an image of enduring political might, the fortitude of generations, the majesty and splendor of those in power, and the influence wielded by families for generations…so long as they followed God’s leading.
Even in a modern day and age, and particularly in Western culture where the closest most come to sitting on a throne is the euphemistic reference to the toilet, the symbolism is hardly absent. One of the most popular shows and book series in present circulation is called Game of Thrones, and the most famous photo from it is of—what else?—an enormous, weapon-studded throne, a symbol of incredible influence in the books.
One thing that is universally understood about thrones in every source, from Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones to Chronicles of Narnia and Final Fantasy, and of course, in the Bible itself: the throne is where the king sits. It’s not just a chair, it’s a seat of power. Royalty and nobility inhabit these places of power in any kingdom; conquering kings sat on the thrones of those they supplanted. As Psalms reiterates many times, there is an enduring, heavenly throne where God sits. There is also a throne established for Christ, the King of Kings, which was prophesied to be established forever and ever way back in Psalm 101. One Psalmist used the analogy of a throne “hurled to the ground” to emphasize the utter breaking apart of his enemy’s power by the hand of God.
I recently found a note on my mother’s desk that got me thinking. It was just one simple question: who sits on the throne of your heart?
Our bodies are small kingdoms. We each govern them day-to-day, deciding how we nourish, upkeep, and dispatch them. But in the center of each kingdom is the heart—and no matter what, something always sits the throne of our hearts. When we accept Jesus as Lord, we make an ongoing commitment to enthrone him on this noble seat in our hearts; but this can be a struggle, because other things are always warring for our affection, our attention—the ultimate seat of power in our lives. Insidious idolatry can slip in, stealing The King’s throne without us even noticing.
The ongoing warfare to reclaim the throne of our hearts for Christ is really a lifelong battle, but it becomes an easier one to fight once we become truly aware of it. Who are we serving? What is the focus of our attention, the thing or the “someone” we turn to in times of turmoil? When we take the time to look at the throne inside our kingdom, to take stock and measure of who sits there, we may be forced to confront the fact that something else had crept up the steps and into the chair.
It’s up to us to take it back—to reclaim the throne in the name of the Rightful King whose flag we fight under. There isn’t any end to this struggle, not while we have an Enemy whose goal from the onset has been to sit the most powerful throne in the world…the one at the top of God’s holy mountain. He can’t have that, of course, so he’ll settle for slipping things onto the thrones inside of us that don’t belong there—the kings of pride, ambition, selfishness, addiction, and so many more—to distract and derail the calling God has placed on each of our lives.
Luckily, when we step into the battle to keep our hearts pure, keep our focus where it belongs—on our mighty King—it’s a fight we don’t face alone. The conquering King of Kings wages war beside us. And the storms become easier to weather, the right thing easier to do, and the race easier to run when we take the time to make sure that the rightful King sits the throne in our hearts. That it’s him we serve…and that it’s him, and him alone, to whom we bend the knee.