At this time of year, it isn’t unusual to hear choirs and carolers singing the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah. This classical chorus has at its core a verse that pits man’s “kingdom” against God’s. The second line reads “The kingdom of this world, the kingdom is become, the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.” His Kingdom, in the end, will overtake those of men. This is, simultaneously, a source of comfort for some and anxiety for others.
I’ve always thought of myself as a guy’s guy. I thrive off the notions of competition and conquest; I love the dangerous and the deep. This is a sentiment shared by most men: we relish the regal. God designed men this way, as we’re called to fight for our faith, families and freedom. This is evidenced by David, a fiercely courageous leader, whom God called “a man after my own heart.” The problem with this passion is its misdirection.
God’s Kingdom is a dominion of justice, freedom and honor, while man’s is a kingdom of self. God appoints men and women to fight for His Kingdom, and share in His reward. Man fights for his own kingdom, and seeks to share it with no one. Men will fight for one “kingdom” or another; we’re hard-wired to do so. That’s why many misdirected men have sought to build their own empires of ill-gotten gain. Proverbs teaches us that ill gotten gains quickly turn to dust. As so, empires forged by ego are easily toppled.
The pursuit of God’s priorities brings success to the seeker and prosperity and peace to other people. Freedom and free markets are contingent on the willingness of men and women to seek success in the spirit of community. Individuals and businesses that thrive off of using and abusing others ultimately fail. If America is to rebuild her economy, we must rebuild her culture. Government regulation isn’t the answer to issues of the heart.
We must seek public policies which continue to deregulate an overregulated economy, but we must also seek to rebuild a culture of character. We desperately need men who’ll stand-up for their families, fight for freedom and stand for Truth. When men and women seek to build their own kingdoms, in a vain attempt at self-centered fulfillment, they set themselves in opposition to God’s Kingdom. These little kingdoms distract from the true peace and prosperity which is only accomplished through freedom, when men and women, not government programs, seek to rebuild a society of opportunity.
Remember the words to the Christmas classic, “chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother.”
God bless you and yours this Christmas!