Water CrownEver see something funny that wasn’t intended to be? When language could be interpreted a bit differently than its original meaning?

Example:  One day when the kids were still at home we were on the way to school and passed a local hotel. In their attempt to be friendly to an industry meeting there, they posted this message on the marquee:  Welcome Pest Control.

Yeah, that’s probably not what you want to see when you’re checking in.

More to-date, once a year I teach a strategic planning class for Crown College – a fine Christian school in Minnesota. Like most schools, Crown has an online system for maintaining accounts, library access, classes and the like. In their case, it’s called “my.crown.”

A few months ago, Jeff, the IT guru there, sent notice that the system was having some technical problems.  The message:  My.Crown is Down.

Go ahead, call me weird. But put in a different context, I just thought that was sorta funny, in a Dr. Seuss kind of way.

“Thanks for calling tech support – my name is Tom Brown, how can I help you?”

“My crown is down.”

“Your crown is down?”

“My crown is down.”

“Are you in town?”

“I’m not in town and Crown is down.”

“You’re not in town and Crown is down. That makes me frown.”

“Are you a clown of some renown?”

“I am Tom Brown, the best in town.”

I could keep going, but I’ll stop there.  (You’re welcome.)

Of course, as is often the case, what’s funny one day becomes a life lesson the next. As I’ve mentioned in some previous posts, you and I were made to be bearers of a spiritual crown. We carry with us the authority and the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And it may be annoying if your Internet goes down (okay, for me it’s paralyzing). But if your kingdom “crown is down,” it can be devastating.

How to Tell if Your Crown is Down

I’d have to leave the IT issues to Jeff and his experts. But I can tell you some ways to recognize if your kingdom crown is down. What it means in practical terms is that as believers we aren’t standing in the authority that Jesus has given us to advance His kingdom on the earth. The result is a colossal waste of opportunities and potential.

Your Crown is Down…

1.  When you’re paralyzed by your fears.

Lion SurpriseIt’s one thing to have fears – and you’re lying to yourself if you don’t think you have any. But it’s another thing to allow your fears to dictate the direction of your life. Proverbs 28:1 says that the righteous are as bold as a lion.  Ever meet a lion with an identity crisis, or second-guessing himself?

Boldness doesn’t mean being obnoxious or arrogant. It just means knowing who you are and who you’re called to be – and not allowing your fears of people or failure or rejection to dictate your next move.  When you do, you are living below your privilege. Your crown is down.

2.  When you’re prevented from the mission.

“All authority is given to Me in heaven and earth,” Jesus said. Then He gave that authority to His followers to share His good news with the world.

It’s not our gospel – it’s His. It’s not our authority – that’s His, too.  Likewise, it’s not in our ability to change anybody’s life.  Also His.  All we have to do is love the world He died for and tell them the good news. If you’re too distracted or fearful to do that, it’s a pretty good sign your crown is down.

3. When you’re prayerless before your circumstances.

“Up until now you have asked for nothing in My name,” Jesus said. “Ask and receive that your joy may be full” (John 16:24).  What an amazing resource – the authority to use the name of Jesus to pray – to speak to the throne of Heaven as if it were Jesus doing it. With that kind of authority, surely every believer has connected with the heart of God to enforce His will on earth.

Right?

Funny how, even in spite of such a forceful weapon, it’s easy to lower ourselves to a place of self-dependence or self-service.  Prayerlessness is a significant sign that your crown is down.

4.  When you’re powerless before the enemy.

Jesus gave His disciples authority over the works and weapons of the world, the flesh, and the devil.  That means temptation. Compromise.  Depression.  Addiction.  Financial bondage. Materialism. Pride. Unbelief. Dead religion. Besetting sin.

It’s one thing to slip or be tripped up. It’s another to be beaten, deceived or defeated repeatedly. If you’ve reached the point where futility is the new normal, your crown is down.

The One Solution

Here’s where I’m supposed to give you a formula or series of steps to “undown” your crown.

Ain’t gonna happen.  There is one thing to do when your crown is down:  Pick it up, for God’s sake.  Wear it. Stop believing the lie that it belongs to somebody else.

Remember these words from the psalmist:

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies… (Psalm 103:1-4, NKJV)
 

The fact is, because of the faithfulness of the Lord and His benefits – and not because of any merit on your part – you are in a position of being crowned with covenant love and tender mercies.

God doesn’t bless you on a budget. He doesn’t pour out lovingkindness and tender mercies half-heartedly or with strings attached.  He adorns you.  Lavishes upon you.  And He is the secret of any attractiveness or sense of blessing you have.

His faithful kindness is shown to you because of the covenant He has made with you, written in the blood of His Son. And it rests on a foundation of tender mercies.  He continually understands, pities, and recognizes your frame.

Those are the facts.  How would you live if you truly believed them?

You would live like someone who is greatly crowned.  Just as a wedding ring symbolizes a relationship between a husband and wife, this crown of lovingkindness and tender mercies symbolizes a relationship between you and your Heavenly Father.  But he calls you to wear it.  To live as if you are truly loved and cared for.

You would live in expectation that your Father is faithful to His covenant.  You would resist the lie that you are some kind of spiritual orphan.

You would live in the open expression of a child, trusting that his “mother’s heart” (the word “tender mercies” means “womb”) holds and cares for you and for the ways you feel.

Live like someone who stands crowned by the King of kings and Lord of lords.

As crowned you are greatly blessed.

As crowned, you are richly adorned.

As crowned, you are humbly responsible to the ideals and expectations of that crown.

As crowned you are both servant and leader.

As crowned you are blessed to be a blessing.

As crowned you are wealthy with His wealth, empowered with His strength, loved with His love.

He – He – has crowned you.  Not your friends, your family, or others who love or admire you.  Not your employer, your country, or even you yourself.  His crowns aren’t earned, but received. And He’s the one who does the giving.

Don’t abuse the crown; don’t neglect it, either.  But wear it.  Exercise authority with it.  Receive both its blessings and its authority.

But remember – always remember – where it came from.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Karen Smith-Will July 17, 2013 at 9:55 pm

“God doesn’t bless you on a budget.” Nice! And so true.

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