You Are Royalty
SEPTEMBER 25, 2021
by Ray Ortlund
This world has no idea what you’re really worth. Around here you are, at best, useful. You fit into a market niche or a voting bloc or some other impersonal category, to be manipulated for someone’s selfish agenda.
But that is not who you are.
The truth is, you are royalty.
Britain has its royal family, with the pomp and ceremony. I respect that. But you belong to a royal family from beyond all this world. So how crazy is it that you might feel like God is up there rolling his eyes at you, thinking what an idiot you are! The God who is actually out there respects you. To him you’re not a pawn, not a loser. In God’s eyes, you have royal dignity.
Here’s why I’m so sure about it. The Bible says that, long before target marketing and voting blocs and all the rest of it, your story began here:
God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them. (Gen. 1:27)
You didn’t pop into existence by mere chance. You didn’t bubble up from the primordial goo. You were created by the King of the universe. Which means you have stature here in his world.
The heavens are the Lord’s heavens,
but the earth he has given to the children of man. (Ps. 115:16)
As a God-created man, you have every right to see yourself as “crowned with glory and honor” (Ps. 8:5). You don’t have to make this true. It is true. Your creation was your coronation.
The Hebrew word translated “image” in Genesis 1:27 is used elsewhere in the Bible to mean a statue. You aren’t a literal statue of God. He has no form, no edges, no limits. But you do “image” God as you think like him and love like him and stand up for him. You can think of it this way: “Just as powerful earthly kings, to indicate their claim to dominion, erect an image of themselves in the provinces of their empire where they do not personally appear, so man is placed upon earth in God’s image as God’s sovereign emblem.”
Your identity—who you really are—is found in the King you represent. You are his royal ambassador to our broken world.
Do you see now why I believe your life counts for so much? God sure isn’t asking you to settle for mediocrity. He designed you to reach for nothing less than your own personal grandeur, for the display of his glory.
Way down deep, you know this. When you were a kid and someone asked you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” you never said, “When I grow up, I’m gonna be wishy-washy!” No way. You said, “I want to be a fighter pilot” or “I want to be a Navy SEAL” or something else big and bold. Even in your boyhood, your God-created nobility was already longing to be fulfilled. God himself put into your heart a sense of destiny.
So, what’s happened to that? How did a man created for greatness become disappointed with his life? Why does a man—a man like you, with your God-given stature—ever feel bogged down and held back?
Let me tell you one thing, in case your mind goes here first. It’s not because you aren’t religious enough.
Religion says, “Do better, try harder, pedal faster.” Religion says you’ve got work to do if you ever hope to get back on God’s good side. But that’s not what God says. The defeatist message of religion, shaming you as a failure, is not God talking to you. It’s your own guilty conscience pretending to be God. And no one is helped by being scolded.
What does help? When your heavenly Father breaks through the noise of who you aren’t—the cheap lies in your mind, the exhausting clutter in your life—and he speaks his truth to you. And you start believing him. You start accepting your mission to “image” his glory in your generation.
And that’s how you start getting traction for a new you—when you dare to believe that God your King created you for a purpose of greatness.
 For example, Amos 5:26.
 Gerhard von Rad, Genesis: A Commentary, trans. John H. Marks (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1961), 60.