To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Rev. 3:21 NKJV
I remember the first time I read the above verse, when a friend called my attention to it. I had to reread it several times, because I could hardly believe what I was seeing. This is a promise— for us!
The Creator God, King and Architect of the Universe, will allow us to sit with him on his throne if we overcome. Picture that for a moment or two. What do you think that might be like? What do you think it means? Let me start by saying I do not think this is symbolic—I believe this is a literal promise that we can see fulfilled one day when we are with him.
To sit on the throne certainly speaks of power, of authority, and of victory. Perhaps those attributes will be exercised during the time of Satan’s final defeat and in the establishment of the new heaven and earth—the kingdom that will reign for all eternity. Perhaps we may be able to witness the majesty and glory of God–and the worship of all creation—from his perspective, on “the throne side.”
But I also think to sit on the throne with the Lord speaks of intimacy. I cannot imagine the Father “moving over” to make room for us—I imagine he will take us in his arms and let us sit in his lap, just like a loving king might do with his young heir. I don’t think it’s possible to be closer to God than if we were sitting on his throne with him. And this is what he is promising us…if we overcome.
So, what does that mean, exactly? I think those that overcome choose again and again to allow God to lead them to victory over the many challenges they encounter. I don’t think it means winning every battle we face, but I do think in the end, the balance will tip one way or the other:
- Have we fought temptation? (not just sin, but despair, hopelessness, apathy, etc.)
- Have we chosen to love and forgive, to show mercy and kindness, when we could have chosen hate, bitterness, and selfishness?
- When our situations are not favorable, how have we chosen to react and move through them?
These decisions, these choices—no matter how little, no matter how often—matter. They matter here on earth, because their consequences affect you and others around you. But more importantly, they have eternal value and significance. The reward for being pronounced an overcomer is greater than anyone can fully imagine or comprehend. And it begins with a choice.