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The governments of this world are different from that of the King of kings and the Lord of lords. They are a billion miles apart, and they operate in different dimensions. The kingdom of God has a servant leadership, and the way up is first down. This world is not so with its systems. You have to climb up the ladder, and sometimes step on others on your way to the top.
It means you are living in two kingdoms that demand your allegiance, and which ever you subscribe to will rule your life. If you bow to the systems of this world, your life will be governed by pride, deception, avarice and negative aggression. The kingdom of God is run by humility, while those of this world is run by pride, power, deception and lies. If you give to give in to the systems, and allow them to run your life, they will trump the righteousness of God within you. However, if you are a person of the kingdom of God, His word in you will overcome every area that has to do with this material world.
A person whose life is under the reign of His kingdom cannot be overcome and overpowered by the systems of this world which is rooted in pride, arrogance, lies, deception and manipulations, instigated by the enemy of God and His saints.
There is nothing wrong for the sons of Zebedee, James and John to ask the question, but the concept of sitting at the height of power has some inclination of superiority and mastery over those who are not. It is a human thing to rule over people, but God opposes it, and wants the greatest and highest amongst the saints to have His humility that serves and ministers, instead of ruling and reigning over the saints of God.
It has always been the mark of the earthlings to gain grounds and heights in life by aspiring to be the greatest through corporate ladder climbing. He says that in His kingdom, the mindset of the systems of this world will not lead into higher heights in God and His kingdom. Ours is the kingdom of the Word, and the Living Word is Christ. He prepares His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom of the Living Word rules every thing on earth, in heaven and below the earth
Pride is the barge of Satan, and by it, came his fall in the beginning of time. He fell from grace to grass, and consequently, into the fire of hell. Those who follow in his steps will experience the same outcome.
Jesus answered the brother, James and John, who were eager to drink of His cup, and baptized with the baptism, but it was not in His hands to give permission to them to sit at His right or left. The 10 took offence to the brothers wanting to rule over them in the kingdom of God, but Christ had to do some damage control. Jesus corrected the situation that was created by the Zebedees.
He said in Mk.10:35-45, “You know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be among you. Whoever will be great among you, shall be your minister, and whoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be the servant of all. For the Son of Man, Christ, came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and serve, and to give His life a ransom for many”.
Therefore, if you want to be king in heaven, be a slave, servant or a minister on the earth with humility, mercy and grace. Serve others from your heart, and not with lip services, but genuinely for their needs, promotion and wellbeing. That is the way to be the greatest in the kingdom of God. You must be prepared to wear a thorn on the earth, if you want to wear a crown in heaven. Also, you must remember that the earth opposes heaven, and the way up, is first, the way down. May the Lord open our eyes to true leadership, which is a servant-leader.