You will reign, dear ones, over glorious kingdoms and realms within the great and glorious kingdom of our Father—a role we certainly need some preparation for. In another favorite Narnia story, The Horse and His Boy, the lost prince of Archenland is returned to his father—an orphaned boy, returned to his rightful role, just as we are. But he has some learning to do, some catching up to do before he can assume full responsibility. Shasta, now proclaimed prince, laments to his two horse companions: “It’s far worse for me than for you. I am going to be educated. I shall be learning reading and writing and heraldry and dancing and history and music while you’ll be galloping and rolling on the hills of Narnia.”
A prince totally unaccustomed to the ways of the kingdom cannot be entrusted with the throne until he has had some preparation—just as we need “educating.” We really thought this life was simply about getting a nice little situation going for ourselves, and living out the length of our days in happiness. I’m sorry to take that from you, but you and I shall soon be inheriting kingdoms and we are almost illiterate when it comes to ruling. So God must prepare us to reign. How does he do this? In exactly the same way he grows us up—he puts us in situations that require us to pray and to learn how to use the authority that has been given to us. How else could it possibly happen?