Hi friends and welcome to the Arise, Beloved blog. We have an amazing team of writers behind this blog and our desire is to speak truth into the lies that cripple us and shine light into the darkness that isolates us because we believe that now, more than ever, the Church desperately needs women to be restored so that the world can be set ablaze. Our hope is that you find comfort, solace, and peace in knowing that you are not alone, you are not too far gone and there is ALWAYS hope to be found.
One of my absolute favorite images to pray with is the image of Jesus sitting on a throne—my throne; the throne that, by His grace, I have built for Him in the very center of my heart and mind and soul. I’ve always understood Jesus to be the King—the King of my heart, of my every thought, of my life. I often close my eyes and go to that place, that kingdom room, and see the throne and my precious Lord. I love to contemplate what He looks like, where He is sitting, where I am in relation to Him.
I pray with this often. It allows me to refocus, to re-center, because as painful as it is to admit, sometimes I realize that He isn’t even on the throne. This reflection is almost like an examination of conscience for me—what or who is taking the place of Jesus? Is the King in His rightful place?
Sisters, I think we often forget that our minds and our hearts can either be places where the King is honored and enthroned or places where he is mocked and replaced by idols. It is so easy to let Jesus drift off to the side and to begin grasping for worldly things to replace Him.
We were made to enthrone Jesus and crown Him King, but in the whirlwind of daily life and with the constant prodding of the enemy, we can quickly enthrone other things and crown other people instead of the one who is Lord. We all have our thing—men, image, vanity, reputation, lust, unruly desire for love, pride, body image, food, social status, social media, you name it. We all have that sin, that disordered desire, that good intention that ends up twisted that sneaks up on us and pulls Jesus off His throne. And whenever the King is removed from the center, we allow the enemy to win. We let our own thoughts and the thoughts of the enemy drown out the voice of the Father as we sink back into the slavery Jesus aches to pull us out of.
But sister, you must remember this: you have the power to put Jesus back on the throne. This is where you have to fight—to fight for your freedom, to fight for your Lord, to fight for your heart.
It all begins with awareness. We have to understand that our minds and our hearts are prone to wander. When we know this, we can begin to pay attention to the all-too-familiar movements of our frail hearts—when you feel peace start to slip, when you feel yourself begin to grasp as if you are trying to fill a void, when suddenly temptation becomes impossible to overcome and you fall back into the sins you thought you had conquered. And when you feel these movements, this is when you ask Jesus to come in His Glory and take His place on the throne. This is when you let Him save you—when you let Him put on the Crown of Thorns and suffer for you as He endures the idolatrous thoughts and disordered desires. This is when you surrender, admit your weakness, and ask for His Mercy to fill you. This is when you understand the power of grace, and you ask for the strength to choose it in every moment.
Like He did to the prostitute in the book of Hosea, the Lord promises us merciful redemption from our wandering, idolatrous hearts and minds:
“And I will punish her for the feast days of the Ba′als
when she burned incense to them
and decked herself with her ring and jewelry,
and went after her lovers,
and forgot me, says the Lord.
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
And there I will give her her vineyards,
and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.
“And in that day, says the Lord, you will call me, ‘My husband,’ and no longer will you call me, ‘My Ba′al.’ For I will remove the names of the Ba′als from her mouth, and they shall be mentioned by name no more…And I will espouse you forever; I will espouse you in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love, and in mercy. I will espouse you in faithfulness; and you shall know the Lord.” – Hosea 2:13-17,19-20
There is plentiful redemption from our wanderings, sisters. It may hurt to put the King back in the center. It may hurt to be stripped bare, to be vulnerable and naked before Him, to recognize the trivial things that have been placed on the throne instead of Him. And yet, my dear sisters, the journey to heaven, to holiness, to the Heart of our King is not easy or free of suffering. The enemy is constantly trying to rob us of our freedom, is constantly sneaking up behind you to steal your peace, is daily whispering lies hoping you will hear Him instead of the Father’s truth He speaks to you. But I promise you that waking up every day and choosing to fight for Him is worth it, because as you slowly choose grace and allow it to strengthen your weakness, you will begin to find yourself to be more and more faithful to Him.
A little tip, sister, if you are struggling to know where to begin with this daily uprooting: my favorite prayer is to make a little cross on my forehead, my lips, and my heart, saying: “Jesus, be enthroned in my mind, in my words, and in every movement of my heart.” I make an act of trust that He will be King of my heart and I live in this peace.
As you put the King in the center, you will find yourself free, undone, and found by the one who is forever seeking your heart. Allow Jesus to take His rightful place on the throne of your heart and mind and trust that He WILL. Bask in the glory of living as the daughter of the King and rejoice in the fact that He is fighting for you—always.
Jesus, give us the grace to crown you, to love you, to choose you this Lent.