The Best Seat in the House

by | Sep 13, 2010 | Spirit-Led Living

I happened to have been named for a Hollywood actor, James Stewart. If you’ve
never heard of him, that’s understandable. He’s hardly a pop-culture icon
anymore. He had his day in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, dying in 1997 at age 89.
But once a year—at Christmastime—he’s all over the TV map. Sometimes two, maybe
three channels at the same time run his famous, either-you-love-it-or-hate-it
movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Ironically, during most of that film,
Stewart’s character, George Bailey, is miserable. Life for him is anything but

George was a small-town guy who had dreams of leaving his
dudsville hometown, Bedford Falls, for high adventure. He was just about to get
that dream started when real life slammed him. The needs of others arose, and
out of his compassion he responded. Before he knew it, he had sacrificed his own
education for his brother’s, kept the family-run savings and loan afloat,
protected the town from the greed of a greasy banker named Potter, married his
childhood sweetheart, and started a family.

Because his dream of “being
the man” was gradually dying he, at the last, contemplates jumping from a bridge
to end it all. His guardian angel suddenly intercedes, showing him the nightmare
that life would have become for the residents of Bedford Falls had he never been
there and been a part of their lives.

Perhaps you’ll see what I mean if
you’ve ever wanted to be the “it” guy or gal. Truth be known, probably all of us
have at one time or another.

Jesus talked a little about this common
inner drive in Luke 14:7-11. He told a parable—the closest thing in His day to
showing a movie—about some folks who had been invited to a big party. The first
people to arrive chose for themselves the best seats at the most prominent table
in the house.

Unfortunately for them, those seats had been reserved for
other guests. They discovered this fact the hard way: When the host of the party
came in, he asked them—in front of everyone—to move to less prominent seats.

Jesus was telling us that we all have the same tendency to think of
ourselves as the “it” person. He was pointing out that this belief causes us to
make choices that aren’t good for us—that in fact may be downright embarrassing
for us.

But He was also saying that if we know we have this flawed
belief about ourselves, then we’d be wise to take a “cheaper” seat to begin with
and wait for God—the host of the party—to say: “Hey, friend, what are you doing
back there in the cheap seat? Come up here to the front near Me!”

made it clear that when we humble ourselves before God, then God Himself will
honor us. He doesn’t say this because God wants less for us in life than we want
for ourselves. If that were true, then Jesus wouldn’t have included the imagery
of God saying, “Friend, move up to a better place” (v. 10, NIV).

was simply illustrating the “how to” of that desire God has for us. He was
revealing that we think the way to get ahead is to grab the best seat in the
house before anyone else gets it. Then He shows us the contrast: God says the
way to get to a better place is to choose humility, maintain a right attitude in
our hearts and then wait for the sure thing—God’s voice calling us to “move up.”

George Bailey, fictional though he was, represents a person who chose,
like Jesus advised, the cheaper seat—despite desperately wanting the more
prominent seat. It took humility on his part to say no to the place of esteem
and success he wanted for himself and, at the end of the film he is a picture of
a man with a fulfilled life.

He finds that he instead has been moved up
to a different, ultimately better place at life’s table. And he’s surprised by
how good it feels to be there.

Jesus is saying that can be our story,


Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


Anchor Yourself to These 3 Essential Core Values

Anchor Yourself to These 3 Essential Core Values

We all face uncertain times. The book of Hebrews uses pictorial language describing this as an anchor. “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and reliable and one which enters within the veil” (Heb. 6:19). Now, the imagery of an anchor obviously...

7 Tips for Coming into Agreement with Spiritual Disciplines Part 2

7 Tips for Coming into Agreement with Spiritual Disciplines Part 2

This article first appeared on Curt Landry Ministries. *Note: This is the second of a two-part series. You can view the first part here. Anoint Your Neck Anoint your neck: This is something that the Lord showed us quite a while ago. We just anoint the back of our...

Bolz Prophetic Dream: Is the Lord Releasing Deliverance?

Bolz Prophetic Dream: Is the Lord Releasing Deliverance?

I want to take a few minutes to share a prophetic dream I had this week and what it might mean for you. I heard the Lord say: "We are in a season of deliverance. Both deliverance from demonic oppression but also a season of deliverance from societal, racial, financial...

2 Keys to Your Best Life Ever

2 Keys to Your Best Life Ever

I’ve been teaching the Word of God for more than 45 years now, and one of the most life-changing things I’ve learned is that God is always right. No matter what I think, how I feel, or what my circumstances look like, His wisdom and His way of doing things are always...


7 Tips for Coming into Agreement with Spiritual Disciplines

This article originally appeared on Curt Landry Ministries. *Note: This is the first of a two-part series. Spiritual disciplines are habits and patterns that produce spiritual maturity and growth....
Morning Rundown: A Dam Will Burst on the Wicked

Morning Rundown: A Dam Will Burst on the Wicked

Here’s a quick summary of the top stories on Ever Wondered What Prominent Leaders Are Pre-Trib and Post-Trib? There are three main schools of eschatological thought when it comes to the Millennial Reign of Christ mentioned in Revelation 20. Leaders...

Satan’s Diabolical Plan to Divide the Body of Christ

Satan’s Diabolical Plan to Divide the Body of Christ

Demons and deliverance have become a very hot topic in the church today, especially on the heels of the release of Pastor Greg Locke's movie Come Out in Jesus' Name. It opened Monday night in nearly 2,000 theaters and was followed by Pastor Locke coming on live in...

What Should the Rainbow Mean to God’s People?

What Should the Rainbow Mean to God’s People?

The story of Noah and the Flood is one of the go-to Bible stories for parents when it comes to raising their children anchored in the Word of God. Children are taught that the rainbow represents God's promise to never destroy the earth by way of flood again. These...

Pin It on Pinterest