Adam was given the earth to rule, but when the test came—he folded. He didn’t speak, didn’t act on Eve’s behalf. Satan was there, attacking his wife, threatening the whole kingdom, and Adam didn’t do jack squat. He fell through his acquiescence, through his silence and passivity. That was how Satan became “the prince of this earth,” as Jesus called him. And why John said, “The whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19 NASB). Might I point out that many men fail as kings through abdication, through some sort of passivity? They refuse to take the role, or they refuse to make the tough decisions. Refuse to lead their people in battle. They look for a comfortable life.
The other extreme, after Adam’s fall, is tyranny. Kings like Pharaoh and Saul and Herod. Men who use their power in order to control and manipulate. The pastor who won’t share the pulpit with anyone. The CEO who won’t take advice. The father who keeps his family cowed in fear. If a man would be a good king, he would do well to keep in mind these two extremes.
The earth was given to man, but Satan usurped the throne, as Scar does in The Lion King, as Commodus does in Gladiator, as does Absalom, who seized David’s throne. Jesus came to win it back—to throw down the usurper, to break the claims of his rule, which were based entirely upon the sin of man. Through his absolute obedience to God and through his sacrificial death, he did indeed break every claim Satan might make to the kingdoms of this earth (see Col. 2:13–15). Now, “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given” to Jesus (Matt. 28:18 niv).
And you, my brother, have been given that same authority. “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 2:6 NIV). To be seated with Christ in the heavenlies means that we share in his authority. He makes it plain in Luke 10:19: “I have given you authority ... to overcome all the power of the enemy” (NIV). Learning to live in this authority, to bring the kingdom of God to our little kingdoms on earth, that is what it means to become a true king.