Foundation of Dominion: Living an Ordinary Life While Serving an Extraordinary God
Ezekiel 36; Isaiah 65:17-25
Isaiah 65:21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
There a number of extraordinary promises in the bible concerning the future concerning the followers of Jesus Christ. The two listed above are important ones; there are a number of others.
At times when we’re talking about the amazing future before us, many people get confused concerning what that world will look like and what they can do when they hear these victorious declarations by God through His prophets.
Overall, there are a couple of simple things to understand in this regard. The first is, nothing really has changed from the beginning of the creation of mankind. We are still meant to bear the image of God, with part of that being walking in obedience to His commands, Another aspect of bearing His image is having dominion over the earth.
The problem is we tend to use our imaginations in a way that tends to take the focus off of what these things really mean on a daily basis, and focus on some magnificent accomplishment.
While there is nothing wrong with attempting something terrific for God, that’s really not what these scriptures of future victory really mean. Remember the scripture where it talks about the fact we can gain the whole world yet lose our souls. We can engage in fascinating projects and accomplish them, yet still not be walking in fulfillment of what is important to God. That’s why I listed the one verse at the beginning of the article, as it points to the thought of God in this matter.
Ordinary people – ordinary living
This isn’t going to sound like anything romantic in life, but the reality is when God speaks of victory, in general He’s talking about faithfully participating in the everyday things of life. It that isn’t in place, the rest won’t matter.
When He talks of building houses and living in them, planting vineyards and eating the fruit of them, this is a reference to being ordinary people who serve an extraordinary God. To me, every Christian individual and family should strive for this to be their way of life at its foundation.
Building on the ordinary
I understand the desire by many people for drama and excitement in life, but one has to be extremely careful there. Engaging in an occasional interesting adventure to break up the monotony of daily living is a good thing, to live a life of adventure, for most people, really doesn’t work.
Everyday life is what the adventure is meant to be, with the daily challenges of working, feeding our families, training our children in the way they should go, and husbands and wives spending time together, taking up the bulk of our time.
I did a lot of things when I was younger; playing sports, spending time with friends, and hanging out in the summer months at a club we belonged to. Yet, even with all the things I participated in, the things I remember the most was when we sat down as a family and talked about the things of life. Everyone needs those types of times on a consistent basis.
When being faithful in the little things of life daily, it makes the special times we spend together, such as unique experiences during vacations, have more of an impact. If life was a series of seemingly endless experiences outside of everyday life, it would eventually burn everyone out. The need for an emotional high can create a sense of discontentment, while causing us to reach a greater high in the next thing we do. It can easily become an addiction that disconnects from the simple pleasures of real life.
The key to me is we all should go about our daily business of living, working, communicating, and playing (in the wholesome sense of the word), and occasionally break out of the pattern in order to refresh ourselves and create interesting experiences we can think about from time to time. That helps life to be less tedious and boring. It also keeps many from looking to the world for the type of excitement that is against the laws and will of God.
Most of life isn’t going to be skipping over the mountain tops or going deep into the valley. Jesus has lowered the mountains and raised the valleys in order for us to live a life of godliness and contentment.
There are of course times in life where those are part of our lives, but too much time in either one of them usually results in us burning out. At times, because of what God is brining us through, we will reside on the mountains or the valleys for a prolonged period of time, but our lives weren’t meant to be in those two places for the duration of the time we have on earth.
I’m not suggesting we aren’t to seek things we can do in this world that can have a meaningful impact, only that living everyday life is the foundation upon which everything else matters.
To lose our marriages, ignore our children, and walk in disobedience to God, while running after endless rainbows and unicorns, isn’t what God had in mind when talking about having dominion of planet earth.
It doesn’t mean we aren’t to pursue excellence in specific areas of life, only that to not have a home environment and all that represents to work from, the rest will be an empty shell that one day we’ll look back on with regrets.
Finally, we have time to work out those things we believe God has given us to accomplish. We can have a sense of urgency without being in a hurry. By being in a hurry, I mean trying to force something to happen before its time.
Our job is to be excellent in whatever we put our hand to, faithfully planting and watering. It’s not our job to try to generate increase, as the scriptures teach, that is in the hands of God, who gives the increase to our faithful planting and watering.
The bottom line is the future belongs to those who show up. That showing up is a reference to participating faithfully in marriage, having and raising godly children, and enjoying the fruits of our labor without it being taken away from us by those with envy.
My counsel to you in all of this? Patiently walk in faithfulness, obeying all that we are commanded to as revealed in the holy scriptures.
Here’s the secret: That’s what really will change the world.