James E. Woods

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The Unseen Power Behind the Throne


The Unseen Power Behind the Throne

…take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: for the Holy Spirit shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.
— Luke 12:11,12

In Moscow stands the Kremlin — an architectural wonder that is simply breathtaking in terms of beauty. Within this great walled city are palaces, ancient churches, governmental buildings, and the State Armory Museum, a fabulous structure that holds treasures, crowns, diamonds, carriages, and thrones of the Russian state. One throne in particular has captured my attention every time I visit the Armory. It is a gigantic, double-seated throne with a strange opening just behind the seat to the right side.

In 1676, Tsar Alexis Romanov died, leaving his sickly son, Ivan, to inherit the throne. As a result of a number of political manipulations, it was decided that Ivan would be proclaimed Tsar jointly with his ten-year-old brother, Peter. For a brief period of time, both brothers ruled Russia, sitting together on the gigantic, double-seated throne that is now on display in the Armory. Young Ivan sat on the left side of the throne, and his brother Peter sat on the seat to the right. Eventually Ivan proved to be too physically and mentally feeble to rule, so he resigned his position. His brother Peter remained as Tsar and ruled Russia until his death in 1725. Today he is respectfully referred to as Peter the Great because of the great accomplishments and lasting impressions he made during his reign.

But why was there an opening behind the seat where Peter sat upon the throne? That opening was made so Peter’s sister, Sophia, could sit behind the young Tsar and privately provide him with correct responses to questions and comments made to him by visiting dignitaries. As the young Tsar listened to his sister’s words spoken quietly to him through a veil, and as he in turn communicated what he heard to those who approached him, an impression was made that he was intellectually powerful, even at an early age. The truth was, young Peter was brilliant, but his sister, although unseen, was the real power behind the throne.

When I’ve visited the State Armory Museum and looked at that strange opening in the double-seated throne, I’ve pondered the words of Jesus in Luke 12:11,12. Jesus told His disciples what to do when they faced difficult circumstances in which they didn’t know what to say or how to respond: “…Take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: for the Holy Spirit shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.”

 

Notice Jesus said, “…Take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer….” That doesn’t mean Jesus was advocating mindlessness. Rather, He was saying that there is no need for us to be anxious or worried in those moments because the Holy Spirit will be the unseen Presence, advising us what to say.

It would be easy in the natural for us to feel fretful, uneasy, upset, or distraught in those moments of not knowing how to answer. That’s why it’s important to understand that the Greek word for “thought” in this verse is actually Jesus’ prohibition against our being fretful in such moments. We may not always know how to respond to every question put before us or every situation we face. But Jesus is telling us that we have no need to be ill at ease because His Spirit will teach us “in that hour” — that is, in our specific moment of need — exactly what we need to say.

The sister of Peter the Great was an invisible advisor to her brother as she sat behind the strange opening in that double-seated throne. But the Holy Spirit wants to be an infinitely more effective unseen Advisor to you. If you will allow Him to take that position in your life, and if you will determine to learn how to hear and trust His voice, the Holy Spirit will give you answers to the questions and situations you encounter that you’re unable to answer or solve on your own.

So open your heart to the Holy Spirit today, and receive Him as your personal Advisor. As you train your heart to hear what He’s saying to you more and more accurately, He will help you respond with His insight and wisdom to every situation you could ever face in this life!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY


F
ather, I thank You for the wonderful ministry of the Holy Spirit. I repent for the times I’ve allowed myself to become fretful and upset because I didn’t know what to do or say. Holy Spirit, I receive and give place to Your ministry as my personal, private, invisible Advisor. I allow You to take this position in my life, and I purpose in my heart to learn to hear and trust Your voice. Thank You for giving me answers to questions and situations that I would be unable to answer or to solve on my own.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY


I confess that the Holy Spirit is my personal Counselor. In every situation of life, I listen to the voice of the

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Spirit. He speaks to my heart and mind, and He tells me precisely what I am to say and what I am to do. I am not helpless, confused, or caught off-guard because the Holy Spirit lives within me as my ever-present Helper. With Him inside me to guide me, I am never at a loss for wisdom in critical moments. He is my Helper, my Teacher, my Comforter, and my Advisor!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Can you recall a moment when you had no answer for a question being put before you — and then suddenly the Holy Spirit showed you what to say and what to do? When was that experience? Is it something you could share with others to encourage them in similar moments?
  2. What questions or situations are you facing right now that you do not naturally know how to answer or how to solve? Have you asked the Holy Spirit to help you?

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