We may read Athalie’s story and think, “That’s crazy! What princess in her right mind would refuse to wear her crown?”
The fact is, many of God’s princesses, all over the world, hide their crown before they even step foot out the front door each day. Tucked away in the closet, hidden behind dresser clutter, boxed under the bed . . . somewhere the crown sits collecting dust. In this little “parable,” Athalie’s finery represents the blessings of being a daughter of the king. Her crown represents who she is to the king (see the “Your Royalty in Him” blog page). Just the same, as God’s daughters, we have all of Heaven’s goodness at our fingertips! It’s more than an earthly inheritance of jewels or homes. It’s more than a good name in a society of idol-seekers. It’s the eternal lineage and all that it entails!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you…
I Peter 1:3-4
If we study the word “salvation,” we’ll find it means more than just having our sins forgiven. It includes all the blessings that were bought for us when Jesus died on the cross: healing, deliverance, protection, provision, and peace. All this was given to us when we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Our king made sure we weren’t going to go through life with just enough to survive. We were going to be decked from head to toe in His blessings (3 John 2)!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”
God hasn’t just lavished us with blessings; He’s also given us a crown – a crown that represents who we are to the world. That crown is our identity as His Princesses – His children. When we were born again, God placed His nature on the inside of us. That single act elevated us from pauper to princess – His very own! It does more than give us a good self-image. It gives us the revelation that we have the genuine presence and glory of God reigning on the inside! It’s more than enough to make all fear of failure, or lack of confidence, disappear!
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…
I Peter 2:9
We now have our inheritance of blessings and our new identity. Hallelujah! As wonderful as it is, the challenge has only begun. The moment we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the devil will try to distract us from being the light we were meant to be. The temptation is to be selfish and squander our inheritance, ignoring the world around us.
He may also choose to intimidate us by sending pressure from our culture and other people to keep us in hiding. Even worse, he may entice us to be like them, and to slowly let go of our identity and choose to be more like the world rather than like God. This is exactly what God doesn’t want us to do.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
The idea is to avoid being “squeezed” into the world’s mold. When we consider what “conforming” looks like, it sounds manipulative and messy. But that’s exactly what happens every time we decide to sport the world’s bad attitudes, or copy their way of talking. That’s the result when we decide to date an unbeliever or show off the revealing outfit. Slowly, with each adjusted standard, our royal “crown” is being broken and tarnished – all to please the world around us.
It’s not always the broken standards and obvious moral changes that make us want to hide or injure our identity. Sometimes the temptation is to simply be quiet about who we really are. The goal becomes to be silent about our beliefs, or to make excuses for the way we live. That, too, can be as fatal to our royal identity as denying that we have a crown at all.
The tragedy of giving up our royal identity is that we are not the only one who pays the price. Yes, we may lose blessings and the peace that follows a holy lifestyle. We may not feel the joy of hearing Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23). It’s a sad picture for us, but what about those around us?
Our commission is to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Without us, Jesus has no one to shine the way to Him. Whether they realize it or not, other girls desire to wear a crown, too! But they have no way of knowing how good God is or how much He desires to have a relationship with Him. If we are not being that “light,” we doing a disservice to those around us, hindering them from knowing the One person who loves them the most. Every time we try to adjust our habits and lifestyles to be “conformed to the world” we are drawing them farther away from their Savior, and blemishing God’s reputation.
When we get around the world, they ought to see a difference by the way we act and speak. They ought to know we’re of royal blood. They ought to know that Jesus is alive and is coming back soon. We may not be into wearing little headpieces in the natural, but we do have a responsibility to let our spiritual crown shine without intimidation!
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
When the temptation to hide or throw away our crowns rears its head up, we need to remember this verse:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
What makes us so beautiful is that we are so different. We have no reason to be ashamed of our crown just because we’re not like everyone around us. We are like Jesus, shining His nature from the inside out. Everything about Him is pure, lovely, and good. In a dark world, we couldn’t possibly fit in – nor should we desire to try!
Next time we stand before a mirror, bemoaning our uniqueness, we need to remember who we are, what we have, and the power within us. We need to remember whose final opinion really counts. No desire of a boyfriend, parent, or teacher trumps the reality of who our king made us to be. No standard, philosophy, or moral lifestyle has any right to say we’re anything other than a child of the one and only King!