When I think of monarchs, I must confess the first thing that comes to my mind are Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth, Prince William and Prince Harry. I do not intend to be disrespectful, but I think that we all know that the government is no longer run by the monarchs. The royal family have a different role that puts them on the tabloids and we all wonder if Prince Harry will ever get married and admire the picture perfect family of Prince William, Catherine, and their children. Monarchs have not always graced the tabloids. They used to rule, some with an iron fist.
King Nebuchadnezzar was one of those iron-fisted kings. He is considered to be the greatest king of the Babylonian Empire. When many Israelites has been exiled to Babylon as prisoners of this great kingdom, the Lord gave this mighty king a dream. In the dream, he saw a great statue with each part being composed of a different element: gold, silver, iron, clay. Then, in the dream, he sees a rock cut, but not by human hands, that shatters the statue. The collision was so great that the elements of the statue were made to be like dust.
In the book of Daniel, we see how the Lord revealed the dream to Daniel and then gave him the interpretation of the dream. Each of the different elements represented a different earthly kingdom. However, they were all part of the same statue. There were many parts, but they were all the same. The different earthly kingdoms were one under the dominion of Satan, the god of this world. The great rock was Jesus, the rock upon which the church has been built. The kingdom of God destroyed the kingdom of Satan and reduced it to dust.
I want you to know today that the Kingdom of God will always prevail against the Kingdom of Satan. Even at the crucifixion, the kingdom of Satan did not win. The Lord was bringing them all together and letting all of the demons think they had got the best of him. But then suddenly on that third day, He rose again making a spectacle of them. God always wins! ALWAYS!!
Kingdoms are societies under the rule and whim of the King. Nebuchadnezzar killed whom he chose and showed favor to whom he chose. He could do whatever he wanted. He was king.
We serve the King of Kings. The purpose of the dream was to let Nebuchadnezzar know that any authority he had was only made possible by permission of the King of all Kings. The Kingdom of Satan is able to exist now waiting final destruction in the fires of Hell in order for us to develop faith in the Lord. But let’s be clear, wherever the kingdom of God is, what God wants happens. He blesses those He chooses and to whom curses fall is His decision and no one else.
You would think that simply by calling ourselves Christians that we are part of the Kingdom of Heaven that always wins. But when we look at the church, both personally and corporately, we do not always see victories. We see churches fail and families break up. The Devil keeps winning. Why? If we are part of the Kingdom of God, why?
12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. (NIV 1984)
In this passage, the Lord is teaching us that the Kingdom of Heaven is available, but it requires force to take hold of it. Spiritual force is essential. To receive the benefits or blessings that come from the Kingdom of Heaven, I must honor the King. I would suggest to you that the reason so many Christian churches and families are losing so many battles with the enemy is because we are not honoring the King as we should. We treat Christ as if he is our president whom we can vote out if he does something we don’t like. We do not follow His commands. We live as if we have a choice. But when I choose to not honor His commands, I forfeit the blessings that can only come from the King. I forfeit protection, prosperity, peace, joy, love, and fulfillment when I refuse to honor the King’s requests.
We call Christ our King, but we treat him as if he is simply our adviser. We look for His wisdom, but if we don’t like it, we don’t follow it. But the truth is that He is a King. He is THE KING! He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. His word is final. All things belong to Him. Nothing has ever been made without Him. He is the Creator of all things. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him. But He is our King. When we reduce Him to a wise man or magician, we dishonor the King.
But let’s be honest, can we? It is difficult to honor the King as King. I know that He is the King of Kings, but I still want what I want. Though I am a child of the king, my spirit has still been corrupted by the sinful nature which operates under the dominion of Satan. As the Apostle Paul said, “what I want to do, I do not do and the evil I do not want to do, this I keep on doing.” This is where the force comes in. We must resist sin with force. Like a madman ready to destroy any temptation, we must fight off our own desires and wants and take hold of the Kingdom of God through obedience to the King.
I wonder if there is anyone out there who had to fight violently to escape the sinful cravings and desires? Is there anyone who had to fight with all of their might to stop the addiction? Is there anyone who had to fight like a rabid dog to forgive their molester? Is there anyone out there who had to fight like a mongoose against a cobra to swallow their pride that their marriage might be saved? It’s time to fight with violent force against our own selfish desires so that we can bow down to the King and honor Him. It is from His hands alone that we find victory. He is the only source of true prosperity. From Him alone can we find joy unspeakable. We have access to the Throne of Grace by the blood shed on the cross, but we cannot enter the throne room while gratifying our own lusts. Let us fight with all of our might the Goliaths that stand between us and all that God has for us. Get your sling and cast the stone and when your giants fall, cut off their head.
The Kingdom of Heaven always defeats the Kingdom of Satan. Victory is ours when forcefully beat back the sin within and violently hold on to the King and His Kingdom.
I don’t know about you, but I am tired of losing. I am tired of seeing churches lose. I am tired of seeing families lose. I am tired of seeing friends and neighbors lose. Aren’t you tired of losing? It is time to grab onto that Victorious Kingdom with all of our might ready to destroy anything that would challenge our grip.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (NIV 1984)