Monday, January 8, 2007

Making Sense of the Process

Someone wrote to me:
The book you wrote said, "God’s Word in your mouth is just as powerful as it is in His—when you speak it in faith!" and "The divine mandate of dominion and how to exercise it." That does not make sense at all. You are not as powerful as God. If you are that powerful and you have so much dominion why have you not changed the world? No offence, but do people buy these books? Seems very strange.
In my book, God’s Word in Your Mouth, I tell about how God created man in the image and likeness of God, and how He gave man a blessing and a mandate: “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion” (Genesis 1:26-28). In other words, we were created to be like God and given authority to fill the earth with this god-likeness, to subdue the earth (that is, bring it into order with God’s plans) and have dominion (rule and reign over the earth as God’s representative). Now, of course, Adam really messed things up when he rebelled against God, and sunk it for all of us when he unhooked himself (and us in him) from the life of God. But the Lord Jesus Christ came to restore us back to God and the purpose for which He created mankind.

But this is not an automatic process. It requires that we respond in faith to the promise of God. Nor is it an instantaneous process. It requires discipleship — training — just like Jesus trained His disciples. Then He gave them power and authority, and sent them out into all the world to teach the nations everything Jesus had taught them.

We might prefer that it all happened at once, but God’s plan is for us to be in partnership with Him. He did not create us just so He could reign over us, but so we could rule and reign with Him (see the mandate in Genesis 1:26-28). What He desires is relationship, fellowship with us. Toward that end, He trains us up into maturity and faith, not into magical expectations.

God is raising up sons and daughters for Himself through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. It is not mechanical nor magical, but the process of maturity.

One day everything will be set right in the world when the Lord Jesus returns. Then the kingdom of God will be here in its completeness, and the will of God will be fully done on earth exactly as it is in heaven — just as Jesus taught us to pray.

(And yes, people do buy these books, and find them to be very helpful.)