Devotional 97: Unending Dominion

Daniel 7:13-14

13 “I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed.

In the beginning, the Father trusted His new creation with the stewardship of the earth.

Genesis 1:26

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

But His new creation, in spite of the fact that his mate gave in to the serpent’s wiles, still had a chance to save it. Sadly, for all of us, he did not.

Genesis 3:17

17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:

“Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.

Hate Mondays? ^^^^

Don’t. Be glad you have a place to go, and be glad you can get there.

Adam didn’t rebuke Eve, but blamed G-d:

Genesis 3:12-13

12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

13 And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

As the saying goes, ‘You had one job…” But the blame game had started, and from that point there was no going back. Man had given his dominion to the enemy of G-d not only on the earth, but within his own spirit.

As a result, we’ve been in rebellion ever since, doubting G-d’s promises ever since, and allowing ourselves to be repeatedly, (and sometimes willingly) deceived if it pleased our ears and fit our agenda, seeing the lie for what it was, and going along anyway.

Dr. Myles Munro described prayer as seeking G-d’s divine intervention in earthly affairs, because G-d doesn’t take back what He gives, and the heart of men is set toward doing evil.

Fortunately, G-d does new things, and is a G-d of restoration: when the smoke and fires of tribulation and judgement are quenched, the power of the grave cut off, and the destruction of sin is thoroughly final, our Savior takes over, restored to His rightful place. He has already withstood the temptation of the evil one, not exchanging His kingdom to come for immediate acclaim of the masses who would see him dead, though He suffered greatly in the desert. It was so intense that the angels had to minister to Him.

As a result, He has not given over His dominion, not handed the scepter to the serpent, and intimately understands the sovereignty of His Father’s plan in ways and to levels we cannot yet understand. The apostle Paul tells us: (1 Corinthians 13:12)

12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

How are we known? We were fashioned in the womb by the Father’s hands. I think it’s safe to say then that our confusion will be cleared up in the most wonderful way, and the parts will be made whole.

In that we will be able to trust in our Lord, dominion, like us, won’t ever be taken from His hand. For that, (and Mondays where we can go out to earn our daily bread), let us be  truly thankful.

Therefore I pray:

Father in Heaven,

From the beginning, we have shown ourselves unworthy and incapable of complying with Your commands, of holding You in reverent fear and honor. 

And from the beginning, You had a plan to reconcile us to You. Yet you also tell us that even in the end, there will be a harvesting of unbelievers, and we as Your ambassadors, are to be about the kingdom work of calling them to repentance.

As the lost slink further into the shadows, the mockers grow louder, the self-righteous twist Your Word to suit political ends of power, control, and money acting like the very Pharisees You denounced and constantly rebuked, let us stand firm against the onslaught.

As we ourselves tremble when we face the mob, stones of science and the wisdom of men in their books and in their mouths ready to fly at us, give us the boldness of the Holy Spirit, the conviction of the Truth we are about to speak, and let us rejoice, whatever the outcome, that we have declared Your Son before men, that He might declare us before You. Indeed, let us confound them as Paul confounded the Jews in Damascus. (Acts 9:22)

And let those who have ears among the crowd hear, and receive in good soil the restoring love and enduring faith of the Gospel message as balm over the serpent’s sting, looking to the second Tree of Life where our Savior spilled His blood to present us before You, that we might not die in Your presence. 

Set for us divine appointments among the seekers, and let us open their understanding with Your words as we walk with them along the way, leaving their hearts afire for You when we go.

Help us to remember the day is far spent, and the weeping and gnashing of teeth echoes on the horizon as the angels gather once more to reap, one final time, and strip us of the corrupted dominion we’ve practiced. Let us dwell under Your light as You shine forth from the new Heaven, as we enjoy the new and unpolluted, sinless earth You will give to Your Son, our Savior, Shepherd, Brother, and Lord King, now and forevermore.

Let it be done to us as You have said.

Amen.

Devotional 4: Two Trees of Eternal Life

Genesis 3:

22 And the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become as one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live for ever”—

23 therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden to till the ground from whence he was taken.

Galatians 3:13

But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

Here, in contrast, are two trees of Life, one from Eden, and the other, the cross of Calvary.

Of one, we were not to eat, but because there was disobedience regarding the Tree of Knowledge, there was a casting out of Paradise, lest there be the same for the Tree of Life.

Yet, Jesus tells us that unless we eat of His flesh, which was to be hung on a tree, thereby becoming for us the gateway to eternal Life, we will not enter Heaven. (John 6:53)

Two trees laden: one with pleasant but forbidden fruit, and one with bitter, holy blood, of which we are invited to partake.

Those who now reject the latter tree do so to their eternal peril.

We are to walk by faith and know that we will be the harvest of the first fruits of resurrection, the Risen One, in this, our Father demands obedience, but does not force us to obey.

The Tree of Life is guarded by a flaming sword, but there are no such weapons around the Cross.

Earthly fruit trees die, and their fruit spoils, but there is no drying up of the holy blood which covers our sins, iniquities, and transgressions to the exacting eyes of our Father, who has handed all judgment to the Son.

Therefore let us not be found in pride, disobedience, and rebellion, for the Father says He will make the Son’s enemies His footstool.

Let us boldly, but reverently, approach the throne of Grace, and partake of the tree of Eternal Life, the cross, who’s fruit is the Bread of Life, and who’s seed is the anointing confirmation of the Holy Spirit, sealing us to Heaven. Let us reach and touch the hem of his holiness, that we might be made well.

Therefore, I pray:

Father in Heaven, help me to know that this is not my permanent home. Help me to remember that I have been called out from the world to minister to it your Holy Truth, the Gospel of Your glorious Son, the Bread of Life, who was nailed to a tree, that I might have Eternal Life and fellowship with Him, and be in the Light of Your Presence without fear of death.

Jesus says no one has seen the Father except the Son, and that is true; I haven’t seen You, Father, but I have seen Your power at work in my life, and the lives of those I love. 

Would that we did not have knowledge of evil, but we do; we also have knowledge of good, and therefore can counter the deeds of evil men, with Your power working on our behalf. We have but to ask, in faith believing we have already received.

Help me to keep the second Tree of Eternal Life, the cross of Your Son, and my Savior, ever in my vision, my thoughts, my words, and my deeds; let me partake fully of the sanctification of the fruit of salvation, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

I thank You for my gifts, and the opportunity to use them for Your glory. Let me therefore be a fruitful branch in the making and establishing of Your coming Kingdom.

Bless me this day, Father, and let my sins of the day be covered by His holy blood once more.

In His Name, and to Your Mercy, I pray.

Amen.