“And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever.”

“They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, ‘Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.’”  Revelation 4:9-11

I’m the proud father of three beautiful boys.  My oldest, Aidan, is 3 years old.  One fall day a couple years ago I was in the front yard watering the flowers around our magnolia tree while Aidan was wandering around the yard in his diaper and t-shirt, inquisitive about nearly everything.  After a while I felt a little tug on my hose I and I turned around to see Aidan standing behind me, grasping the hose with his little chubby hand and grinning from ear to ear.  He couldn’t talk yet, but his face communicated the pure joy he felt trying to do what daddy was doing.  I loved it!  My son wanted to join me in my work. So we proceeded to move about the yard, attempting to water the remaining flowers, but our efforts yielded little. In fact, it probably took three times as long to accomplish the task at hand because Aidan was “helping” me… but I wouldn’t have had it any other way!  The task became a by-product of fellowship with my son.

That day with Aidan has really helped me understand the nature of my relationship with God. Are you overwhelmed because you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders?  Do you struggle with pride in your accomplishments?  Or have you been debilitated by your failures? Me too. Once we understand we are His children and that He accepts us apart from our works, we are set free to work with great joy because now relationship is the goal and not productivity, which becomes a by-product. I still aim to please Him in my work, but I do so BECAUSE He loves me, not in order that He MAY love me. Relationship with God is the goal, not simply doing things for God.  And the funny thing is the more I focus on relationship, productivity improves in just about every area of life, but without the usual stress.

So what does this have to do with Revelation 4:9-11? It is a picture of what will happen at the end of time when we see God face-to-face.  It goes something like this: God gives us the ability to store up treasures in Heaven.  Then He rewards us with that treasure when we die, even though it was Him working through us all along!  But when we see Him as He really is… face to face… we won’t wonder who actually achieved the accomplishments of our lives.  When we see Him in His glorified form, the only appropriate response will be to throw our crowns at His feet.

In light of this, I believe we should respond in like manner today and not wait until Heaven.  Do you wear a crown?  Have you been successful in ministry, business, school or sports?  Is your child top of his or her class?  Do you really think you accomplished any of this?  Or do you get overwhelmed because you carry a burden that’s too heavy for you?  When we begin to grasp how much He loves us and simply enjoys our fellowship, we get the benefit of working WITH Him on this earth like Aidan did with me, and not just FOR Him. We can cast not only our crowns but our burdens at His feet as well. Give God the glory for the successes in your life.  Look past your failures to the One who is walking with you through the pain.  And let God fill you with hope now that you aren’t carrying the world on your shoulders, but rather walking with the One who is.

He delights in working with you and delights in you slowing Him down. What crown can you properly place at His feet today?

 

By Mick Murray, Senior Pastor of Antioch Lawrence