Along her journey in a temporary world, a girl stumbles across something magnificent. She picks it up and slowly spins it around in her hand, studying it from every angle.
Unimpressed, she looks upon the unsurpassable beauty of the crown and sees nothing but lackluster pebbles held feebly by a plastic that peels from its age and wear. Her eyes are blinded and her heart is hardened to see the crown in its true form. She tosses the crown to the ground and walks away.
A different girl walks the same temporary world and comes across the same magnificent crown. She slows her steps and her eyes narrow in examination. As she reaches her hand out to grab the crown, she hesitates. Somehow sensing its extreme worth and her own unworthiness in comparison, she pulls her hand back in and kneels down to get a better look. In this position of reverence and humility, she is able to see in the crown what the other girl missed.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every
spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before
the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
In love he predestined us to be adopted as his daughters through Jesus Christ,
in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace,
which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption
through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches
of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure,
which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times
will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven
and on earth together under one head, even Christ.”
Although she does not deserve it, her Father’s unconditional love made a way for her to receive it. Tears in her eyes and a smile across her face, her heart fully accepts the grace of her Father, the King, through his Son, Jesus Christ. She accepts the crown and carefully picks it up and places it on her head. She becomes a princess; a daughter of the King of kings.
The crown marks her as a princess for the rest of her days. Nothing can take that away. “Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)
The decision each princess must decide is how she will respond to receiving it. Will it change the whole course of her journey? Or will the only distinction between her old identity and her new one be where she spends her eternity? Will she merely wear the crown, making little or no difference in the world? Or will she use the power that lives inside of her to fulfill her calling to become a fearless conqueror for her heavenly Kingdom?
While every journey is different in numerous ways, one thing remains the same for every traveler: they all pass through enemy territory. Concerning the princess, that enemy has just failed; she has the crown. Enraged with hatred and fueled by pride that he can no longer destroy her soul, he settles for what he can destroy—her God-given mission.
As the father of lies, but also concealed as light, his tactics are as convincing as they are deceitful. He loves to take the truth of the King, warp it to reflect the desire of the listener, and then soothe them with his deadly poison. Coursing through their veins, the poison leaves them powerless. Destroy the word, destroy the sword.
Without being aware of the destruction taking place, the full attack is launched against her. For some, he uses a mixture of the girl’s own weaknesses, insecurities, and desires to lure her into a self-filled world: Self-loathing, self-destruction, self-pity, self-righteousness, self-fulfillment and self-gratification. For some, he will recruit others to enslave her, sending her into a world of pain, fear, and hate. Often times, these worlds—looking different for each person—go full circle, leading her from one to the next. She is left merely surviving in both.
Once he has her in his snares of thorns and briars, he will relentlessly fire his arrows down upon her. She has been armed with the shield of faith to block the assault, but she never picks it up. Defenseless, the arrows pound her to the ground. Unable to move, she lays there, defeated, absorbing each arrow’s blow. In this state, her purpose is no where on her mind. Her focus is on the pain of the attack .
Sadly, some princesses forfeit their power to the enemy and they never get back up. It is for them that he takes the great risk that he does in waging war against the crown. And what a great risk it is. While there are a number of princesses that allow his victory over them, there are many who do not. They have been brought to their knees and their faces to the ground. A grave place for the enemy to find a princess who not only accepts the crown, but also the calling.
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”
On her knees, she lifts her shield to protect herself from the enemy’s fire. In faith, she has covered herself with the promises of her Father. Holding tightly to her shield, she uses all her strength just to keep it from falling. Weak and shaking, she does not falter. She feels the force of every hit but none penetrate. Pushing against each blow, she is strengthened with the glorious might of the King; the same power that raised Christ from the dead. With great endurance and patience, she struggles with all his energy, which works so powerfully in her. Her arms no longer quiver in weakness, but are steady and firm. As her Father’s words permeate through her soul, she grabs the hilt of her sword and readies herself for the call. (Colossians 1)
She has been sifted. Her faith did not fail. She is not just a princess. She is a warrior. Too weak to carry out her mission before, now her faith and trust in her Father are solid. She will follow Him anywhere.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good
to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Her Father and her enemy both have a plan for her life. To whom will she give the power?
Lord, “you have rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into your kingdom of light, where we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” While we are on this earth, you also have given a specific mission to each of us. It will always require our complete faith and trust in you. Give us the courage to not just wear the crown, but to be useful for the glory of your kingdom and to help others find their place with you. May we strengthen ourselves in you during our times of hardship so that we may be ready when we hear your call. Amen.