Dominion

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Genesis 1:25-31

I love reading the story of creation, there is such an incredible feeling I get while reading of God’s divine providence. The creation story is full of intriguing storylines, amazing spiritual parallels and an overwhelming awe of God’s raw power! As creation unfolds, God progressively reveals His will. God has always revealed Himself in this way; His power was revealed progressively, His person was revealed progressively, even His name was revealed with this progressive manner. It’s like pieces of a puzzle coming together, its “precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little there a little” –Isaiah 28:10. The Prophet Isaiah also said, speaking as an oracle of God, in Isaiah 46:10, “I declare the ending from the beginning and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” God created the world with the ending of time in mind. His mind held the fullness of creation, yet he chose to reveal creation in 6 days, it was a type and a shadow of what was to come. As was the 7th day of rest. We need to understand that God did NOT need  days to create anything, nor did He NEED a rest on day 7! But through the unfolding of creation we get a sense of His will.

So God creates a world, a heaven and an earth to be exact. A dark, lifeless, seemingly deserted place. The Bible says it’s void and without form. But then something incredible happens! God begins to move! Sometimes all we need in our lifeless, formless lives that are void of understanding and happiness is a simple move of God! Whenever God’s Spirit starts moving, creation always follows! Suddenly God’s voice speaks into the darkness, calls out light from the dark abyss, sets stars in the sky to twinkle in His splendor, set a moon to shimmer in the reflection of the sun. God then shifts His creative attention to the earth, calling out land from the midst of the waters, making grass to grow from the land. Trees appear out of nowhere, fruit and herbs grow freely, in this portion of creation we discover the Law of Creation. Everything contained a seed, and everything was commanded to be fruitful and multiply. The Law of Creation simply means, whatever has been created, is commanded by God’s divine law to reproduce! God judges the success of each creation by whether or not it can reproduce after its own kind. As Christians, who have been recreated into what the Apostle Paul called “new creatures” we too are bound by this Law of Creation. God will not judge us on how we act, look, or behave; although they matter. God will judge us on our ability to reproduce (revival).

As God creates a beautiful environment for all HIs creation to thrive in, He turns to the clay and begins to mold a vessel in a unique fashion. As the Bible puts it, “So God made man in His own image, and in His likeness created He him.” With God’s likeness, man should possess attributes that reflect God. This is revealed when he commissions the man in this perfect environment. The man wasn’t equal to the birds, the fish, or the beats of the earth. The man wasn’t on par with trees and herbs. Man was different. Man had dominion…

Nobody told Adam what he could do, Adam was in control. His environment didn’t dictate his actions, he dictated his environment. He wasn’t subject to the inhabitants of this garden either, in fact his dominion was so great that he named the animals, and they are still called by those names! Adam was operating in dominion, and Eden was his garden. It is my opinion that everything in creation was designed to reflect the nature of God. The Psalmist wrote in Psalms 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork.” Nature reveals God! The sun reflects the life of the lamb, the night-time moon reflects the death of the lamb, but the sun will rise again reflecting the resurrection of the lamb! Our bodies thrive in the day reflecting the life of the lamb, but as night-time approaches our heart rate slows and our bodies enter into a mysterious place of rest called sleep reflecting the death of the lamb. But when morning comes our heart rate increases and we rise again reflecting the resurrection of the lamb! This was done intentionally, so that a man with no knowledge of Bible or church could walk outside and “…consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained…” and he will say to himself “what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalm 8:3-4)

With that understanding, I am convinced that Adam’s dominion in the garden was to reflect God’s dominion in heaven. With dominion and authority in hand, man was given two responsibilities. He was commanded to keep the garden, and to dress it. Or to put it in our terminology, he was commanded to protect it, and nurture it. These are the two primary functions of dominion. Dominion does not rule with iron fist, but it rules in love. Dominion must be self-sacrificing, not self-fulfilling, or it will destroy you! But unfortunately Adam’s dominion was short-lived. A serpent came along and enticed him to sin. What I believe happened is exactly what is happening in the church today. Adam was not enticed with fruit! Adam was enticed with the prospect of attaining even more dominion. “You think you live in liberty and dominion? Yet God has commanded you to NOT eat that fruit? How can you say you are liberated, and are living in dominion with restrictions in your life?” This challenge from the adversary is still being spoken to Christians around our world today. But even scarier than that statement is the next one he spoke, “You will not if you eat that, but God knows that in the day you really exercise your liberty and dominion that you will be just like gods, knowing good from evil.” The enticement was too much for Adam to resist and so like Esau and a bowl of soup, Adam exchanges dominion and liberty for a piece of fruit.

Understand, dominion and liberty did not just cease to exist after sin entered that garden, but there was a transaction that took place, and dominion and liberty simply traded places with Adam. When Adam sinned dominion clung to sin. Now Adam no longer dictated where he went and what he did, but now his environment had him hiding in shame. Now everything that God said Adam should rule over, begins to rule over him. Oh, believe me Adam discovered a side of dominion and liberty he never even knew existed. The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 6:20, “For when ye were the servants of sin (if sin has dominion) ye are free from righteousness.” The reason people leave the church and discover a euphoria of freedom, is because they are free! They’re free from mercy, they’ve been set free from grace, joy, peace, love and hope! That’s a terrifying thought! When you leave God’s garden and settle for the dominion of sin, you are free from God’s righteousness. Not only are you free from righteousness, but now you have to work to earn the very things you were entitled to. The ground was to give Adam of its meat, the ground was to provide for him! But after sin, Adam now has to work to bring forth meat from the ground! What God designed to be freely given, now comes only through intense and grueling activity! Some of us live in this unfortunate place, peace of mind, love, hope, faith and mercy are all easily accessible while operating in dominion. But now you find yourselves having to work so hard for peace, having to work so hard for happiness and joy. That’s not God’s will for you!

We need to understand, it was, and it will always be God’s will for man to operate in dominion. When Adam sinned, he lost that authority. it’s not God’s will for His people to live under the dominion of sin! It’s not God’s will for His people to live subject to lust, sin and immorality. We are not to be subject to this world, but this world is to be subject under us! When Jesus sent out 70 disciples, they came back to Him ecstatic! They said Master, even the devils in Hell are subject to us! I can almost see Jesus’ expression here, as he says don’t rejoice because devils are subject to you! I created you with that right! That is you operating in dominion! But rather rejoice because your name is written in the lamb’s book of life! That’s something you could never do on your own! Jesus told His disciples in Luke 10:19, “Behold, I give you power to tread upon serpents, and to tread upon scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy…” Sadly, most Christians don’t operate in this realm, because we have been robbed through sin.

The enemy has not changed. He may not slither around like a slimy snake any longer, but his influence and his tactics remain the same. The Apostle Peter said in 2 Peter 2:19, “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: For of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage”. Our world is being spoon fed lie after lie, our society is full of “liberty seekers”. Men and woman alike, political parties, right-wing extremists are all pushing for more liberty. But when liberty is abused to satisfy your flesh, it will lead you into a world of captivity to sin. No longer are you involved in sin because you want to, now you have to!

There is a beautiful principle to liberty. Liberty is not the right to do what you want when you want it. Liberty is the nature of God. That’s why the Bible says “The Lord is that spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”. Every where God goes liberty follows, yet there are places and situations where God will not move, bless or heal. Does that mean God doesn’t have total liberty and dominion? No! Because liberty is not determined by what you do, but by what you can say no to! I have more liberty than an alcoholic, because I can say no. I have more liberty than a drug addict or a pornography junkie, because I can say no to it! That’s the beauty of liberty!! Liberty is not the freedom TO sin, liberty is the freedom FROM sin! Adam had no idea, but the avenue to even more dominion and liberty could only be discovered by his ability to say no to the devil.

Jesus told His disciples in John 14:12, “If ye believe in me, then the works that I do you will do, and greater works than these shall you do” He told them in Mark 16:17, “These signs shall follow them that believe, in my name they shall cast out devils…” This is God’s will for His people!

Dominion is not some macho facade, it’s not the creation of some wild imagination. Dominion is a very real position with God. God is calling His people back to a place of dominion, where we no longer live under the rule of our world, but we stepped up to become what we were created to be “the head and not the tail”!

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