I have been fascinated by the notion of ‘laying down their crowns’ for some time. When I consider a crown, it denotes royalty and achievement. As royalty is not necessarily relevant to our everyday context (I know we are a royal priesthood and co-heirs with Christ but for the purposes of this piece) I want to focus on achievement as more relevant to our crowning story.
Let’s consider Revelation 4, verse 4, and then verses 9 to 11 (NIV): “Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads…Whenever the living creatures give glory, honour and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship who lives forever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will, they were created and have their being.’”
There are many opinions on the identity of these elders and who they represent but I would like to focus on their position. They are described to be wearing white, sitting on thrones and wearing crowns. If you get to heaven; not only gets robed in white but also gets a throne AND a crown, I reckon you have done some great things in your life lol. So we can safely assume these elders are big deals in heaven – not even angels get to sit on thrones, the only other ‘person’ referred to as sitting on a throne is Jesus. Yet, the most astounding thing about these elders is not their position but their surrendering of that position. In verses 9 and 10 of Revelation 4, it illustrates that as soon as they had the opportunity to, they cast their achievements to the side in order to worship the only One that is worthy.
Side note: the crowns they have received, was bestowed upon them by God – it is believed that believers could be crowned with 5 different crowns after the day of Judgement (you can read more about this by researching the ‘5 Crowns of Salvation’ or ‘The Heavenly Crowns’). Even God thought the elders were awesome thus He gave them crowns. My prayer is that I will not wait for eternity to cast my crowns down at His feet but that I constantly lay my achievements at His feet every day, on the earthly side of eternity.
The Bible speaks about casting our cares on Him and this is beautiful but I also want to challenge us to cast our achievements at His feet so we may live a life that ONLY glorifies Him and gives Him the credit. The elders could not wait to lay down their crowns, so as soon as they heard that there is a glory-giving and honour-giving happening in heaven (Revelation 4:9), they immediately assumed a posture of worship and gave Him all they had. They even returned to Him the achievements He bestowed upon them because there is none more worthy.
I like to live by this notion: ‘Nothing I have is mine’. It’s easier said than done but it helps me to not get too attached to the things of this earth and live more generously – I am only but a steward. God has given all of us gifts, and I love how beautifully our Creative community uses those gifts. May we be inspired; that our gifts and talents are for the service of humanity and for the glory of God.