In My Little Kingdom (and Yours)

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In my little kingdom, I ride my little pony over my little rainbow. Every day is my day, every event my event.

In my little kingdom, we build on a foundation that is me. We do this because only I am worthy.

In my little kingdom, I never have to sacrifice, though you do. You’re a peasant, remember, but I’m a king.

In my little kingdom, the easiest way to make things happen is to throw a tantrum. My castle in my little kingdom. Isn't it fab?Because nothing beats a spectacle when attempting to prove one’s royal lineage.

In my little kingdom, the littleness of it all means there’s just enough room for me. Let’s not even consider making room for those people.

In my little kingdom, nothing is more important than making me feel good about myself. Of course, this means that I will have to make other people feel bad about themselves. (That’s just the way it works. Sorry.)

In my little kingdom, we do what I want and not what you want. In fact, in my little kingdom, as far as I’m concerned, there is no you.

In my little kingdom, I’ve heard peasants talk of being “the bigger person.” I have no idea what that means, though.

And sometimes, the best place for me to pull out my little kingdom for all to see is when I interact with other people. Funny thing is, when I’m with others, it seems like each person has his own little kingdom. Except those other little kingdoms don’t matter as much as mine.

I once heard of a place where another Kingdom reigned.

In that other Kingdom, everyone is a servant, yet no one complains. In fact, people serve gratefully.

In that other Kingdom, people aren’t peasants, but children of the King. And the children treat each other as if each is the most important person in the world.

In that other Kingdom, no room for little kingdoms exists. That’s not because the Kingdom is too small, but because it’s too large.

In that other Kingdom, in times of lack, all lack together, and in times of plenty, all enjoy plenty together. The children even believe that giving their blessings away is better than keeping them all to themselves.

In that other Kingdom, it isn’t about living, but about dying. And no one would have it any other way.

In that other Kingdom, when one rejoices, all rejoice. Also, as unbelievable as it may sound, when one hurts, all hurt.

In that other Kingdom, all can become children of the King. Even those people.

In that other Kingdom, helping others become part of the Kingdom drives the children. Some even die so that others might come to live in the Kingdom.

In that other Kingdom, the foundation is the King. And He is love.

In that other Kingdom, one glimpses true meaning. Some even say that eternal life is found in the King of that Kingdom and in surrendering all to Him.

Hmm…

Sometimes, when all is quiet and I have to be alone with myself, I think about that other Kingdom and mine doesn’t seem so wonderful anymore.

28 thoughts on “In My Little Kingdom (and Yours)

      • Wolfgang Amadeus

        Dan,
        You know, I think you are right about that. The Materialism and the “I” ism in this society is really pathetic. How can one fully focus on the Heavenly Father-if they are focused on themselves. Being so selfcentered- we cannot see beyond the carrot that hangs in front of our nose. Without that carrot- who knows what might be achieved?

        Wolfgang

  1. We all have that little kingdom to contend with, don’t we. I hate that little kingdom. May His Kingdom expand so much within me, there is no room left for my little kingdom anymore.

    I once heard someone say, “The Kingdom (of God) will either expand you or break you.” I think it’s both actually.

  2. marie

    True repentance is the repentance of self-rule. I know I get caught up in all my sins and trying to remember them all so that I can repent of them when the root of it all is that I won’t turn the reign of my little kingdom over to the One who really knows how to rule righteously.

    God grant me repentance of my little kingdom. I do not know how to turn it all over to you when my flesh fights so hard to hold on to it!

    Thank you, Dan. This was a continuance of the sermon I heard yesterday. Only a different perspective which helps all the more with the understanding of true repentance.

    • Marie,

      Anymore, for me, it’s about laying myself down. That includes all the sins I worry about. Grace exists for a reason. If I can just get my head off of me and onto God and others, then maybe the rest of my Christian faith will follow along.

  3. “How do you combat little kingdoms in your church?”

    “How is God breaking down your little kingdom for His big Kingdom?”

    Good questions! I have no idea. Do you have any? I think I understand the “breaking down” part, but the “Big Kingdom” seems elusive this side of eternity. It would be nice not to have to think, write or talk about it any more and just be able to do it. But living a broken life seems to be the closest I can get right now, and try to be content with that.

    • Paul,

      I think you have to take people to places outside themselves. Why not cancel your meeting in your church and move it into a place where your members can come face to face with the genuinely poor. Get them involved in the lives of widows and orphans. Get them out of their suburban comfort zones.

      Then perhaps the little kingdoms will fall away.

      • This is a good suggestion, one that I follow and that I’ve seen others at the church follow to a certain extent. I think that for it to have any lasting effect, people need to make genuine friends with people who are poor and the friendship needs to be mutual, not a form of one-way dependency. Most people have no problem getting out of their comfort zones for a short period of time, but that’s not where they live. It’s not their definition of the normal Christian life. But it’s a start. Thanks.

  4. Dave

    Dan,

    Thanks for posting these great thoughts. As I type this, a link to Willards “The Divine Conspiracy” sits on the right of this page, and he has some helpful ideas around the submission of “my little kingdom” into the Kingdom Jesus announced in Mark 1:15. Pages 22 and following in my copy.

    Like jfn, I will be passing this on. Thanks.

      • Whenever it comes up, I’ve always mentioned to fellow Christians that The Divine Conspiracy is at the very top of my list of most significant books (aside from the Bible, of course). It gave me hope again that real transformation toward being more like Christ is possible. Many people have tried to read it but have given up, claiming it’s too hard to understand. It takes effort. It’s rich and dense. I spent a couple of years going through it a few pages at a time. I wish more people would make the effort. Willard’s other books are very good, but this one will be a classic.

  5. Wow! Timely post. This has been an area that the Lord has been dealing with me on quite a bit lately. I am to the point where I can see the immense good that can come from dying to myself but this rotten sorry flesh just won’t die! Wretched man that I am, who will set me free from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ!

  6. phil

    Dying to self; Oh what a life giving blessing. Jesus took His sister, my wife Muriel, home to be with Him November 2010. Terminal cancer was in her body but she never owned it. I thought I was more spiritual than she and that I was also less selfish. Praise God, as far as I can tell, I died just a day before He drew her right into His / our Father’s bosom. My kingdom (meaning me not Muriel) was gone, hallelujah! and I am so grateful. I have been home alone, with Him whom my soul loves these past 5 years and trust my continue-ing dying to be safe in His hands. Not a place I would choose but own it completely as His divine purpose for my highest ultimate good, which His grace ever bestows. How wonderful it is as revelation of Him continues. There is always some wonderings on my part, as to my part in co-operating with His indwelling Spirit’s workings of grace. He is good, very good, O taste and see.

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