As disciples in this world we live in the dominion of a reality of what we see and can touch, but at the same time we are residents or citizens of a “Kingdom” we cannot always see or touch which is also a reality. It seems we live among two kingdoms in contrast:
In John 10:10 Jesus says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” And in Colossians 1:13 Paul explains “He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves…”
So, here’s a real clarification by Paul; one is a dominion (of darkness) and the other is truly a kingdom (of light). The words used here are totally different. A dominion is a power or authority, but a kingdom is altogether different. A kingdom is the power and the authority. Satan has a dominion, but no “kingdom”. He has authority because man has allowed it by falling into deception, but Satan is not The Authority.
We live in a time in between what has been and what will be:
John Wimber, of the Vineyard Movement often used an analogy of D-day: Similar to the D-day landing that signaled the end of WWII Jesus’ 1st coming signaled his 2nd coming, and the end of Satan’s dominion. In Jesus’ first coming He set in motion the events that will ultimately end in the final overthrow of Satan’s dominion and initiate what will be. Just as D-day signaled the beginning of the end of WWII, so with Jesus’ 1st coming, it’s the beginning of the end of the dominion of darkness. We’ve begun, but we are not there yet. We live “in between what has been and what will be”.
Slave or Son? So you and I are faced with many “realities” in this world that seek to keep us in slavery. This could be lies of the enemy to keep me down, or many situations to dash hope and make me give up. They pursue you, like in a rear view mirror which says “object in mirror are closer than they appear” the dominion of darkness seeks to over-run you and I, keep us in fear, and keep us imprisoned (even though the cell door is standing wide open)
A great story that clarifies this is found in Exodus chapter 14: The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon. As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. -Exodus 14:9-10
So with us; as we begin to step into freedom, the situation, issue or lie wants to come after us and keep us down. Intimidation is always used and objects in the rear view mirror may seem very close to overtaking us. We can easily lose heart and give up. This is the mind-set of a slave.
Fear & Complaining
They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” – Exodus 14:11-12
Human nature is the same no matter what century you live in…
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” – Exodus 14:13-14
He calms the people and leads, settling their fear and reassuring them to trust God. But then God says something interesting, :
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. – Exodus 14:15-16
He calls them not only to trust and reliance but also to action. This is characteristic not of a slave, but of a son. They too were in between what had been and what would be. They were no longer slaves, as they left Egypt and slavery they were regaining and reclaiming their place as sons and daughters (though they didn’t comprehend it yet)
Check out what Galatians 4 says:
…When we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. – Galatians 4:3-5
Attitude & Action- So both our attitude and our actions need to grow to be that of Sons and Daughters, and not that of slaves! The prison door is open and we are free if we will simply walk out of the cell and into freedom as a son!
Galatians continues…Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. – Galatians 4:6-7
ATTITUDE: That is to be our attitude; not pompous or prideful, not spoiled but never the less a son or daughter of a king and therefore a responsible son who acts like his big brother, Jesus, who didn’t come to be served but to serve and was humble, and took appropriate action as a child of the king.
ACTION: Augustine said “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”
God was delivering the slaves from Egypt but all they could see was what was in the rear view mirror. Even after seeing at least 10 miracles that would ultimately set them free, all they could do was complain when what they should have been doing was walking or even running to freedom. Ultimately Moses had to lift his staff, divide the sea and the ex-slaves had to take action to gain the freedom that was already theirs. Slavery behind, the promised land ahead, they were in between what had been and what would be, but their attitude AND their actions had to change.
Frederick Douglass, ex-slave and abolitionist, 1800s, said: I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.
The sailors say: “Pray… and row away from the rocks…”
As ex-slaves who are now Sons and Daughters of The Kingdom what pursues you and wants to overtake you or enslave you? “Pray… and ____(fill in the blank)_”
When I was diagnosed as diabetic, the first week I was in shock, I suffered overwhelming depression, I was enslaved. (The objects in the rear view mirror seemed much larger and closer and were overwhelming me) But then my attitude and actions began to change. I believe God will keep me, even heal me because He has before. I still fully trust in him).
As a son I also had to change my actions. I changed my diet, I take my meds regularly, and I am exercising daily. I’m putting legs to my prayers, I’m working as if it depends on me, as a son. I have to. But I also want to.
Always remember “you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir!” – Galatians 4:6-7