Have you ever thought about what were God’s first words to human beings?
In Genesis 1:28 we read “God blessed them [Adam and Eve] and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’” God’s first words to Adam and Eve were a command. A command for them to exercise dominion over their world by filling it and ruling over it.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Sadly, when a crafty little serpent known as Satan entered their world they didn’t exercise authority over it. Adam allowed the serpent to tempt Eve and lead her to sin.
What should Adam have done?
He should have killed the serpent. Or, at the very least, thrown it out of the garden.
The results of Adam’s carelessness were tragic. Adam and Eve sinned and were separated from God. Sin entered and contaminated all of their world. Adam and Eve lost their perfect life—literally their perfect life.
What does this have to do with us today?
There are days when I know I should read my Bible first thing in the morning, but instead I check my email and Facebook. I’m completely aware that I if I read my Bible first I will experience peace and have focus for the day. I’m also completely aware that if I check my emails and social media first, often peace and focus are nowhere to be found.
Why do I still do it?
There’s something about email and social media that calls to me. It says “you need to do this first, to make sure you haven’t missed anything.” Or “you need to make sure you’re prepared for the rest of the day.” Or “if you do this you’ll be getting a head start, you’ll actually be more effective.”
Lies. Lies. Lies.
All for the Evil One… or least one of his henchmen.
So what’s keeping me from stopping? Dominion.
I lack dominion over my world. And my careless actions have led to my world having dominion over me. Change will come when I choose to do what Adam should have done: subdue my world and everything in it, including my phone.
That might mean turning my phone off completely (what? no!—I know, I know, that’s drastic). It might mean asking someone to hold me accountable for how I use it (well, that would be awkward). If none of that works it could even mean getting rid of it (ok, now you’re just talking crazy).
In reality, none of those tactics will work until something else happens first. Dominion.
Not my exercise of dominion, but Jesus’s dominion over me. If I want to subdue my phone then I must first let Jesus subdue me.
It was supposed to work like this in the Garden. Adam and Eve were to rule as vice regents (little kings) under the authority and direction of The Great Regent, God himself. Their power to rule came from conforming to God’s rule, not by rebelling against it.
In the same way, our ability to have dominion over our world, phones included, comes only through the power and authority of Jesus Christ—the one true King over all creation.
That means I have to repent of my belief and actions that say “this little part of my life [my phone] belongs to me…and not Jesus.” Instead I must confess that if Jesus is my Lord, then he is Lord of all. Everything then, even my phone, belongs to him.
The story of Adam and Eve reminds us that the perfect life is found in the fully submitted life. A life completely submitted to God’s dominion. And it reminds us that apart from God’s dominion even the smallest thing—serpent, phone, or otherwise—is able to rob us of life and lead us to destruction.
Where or what in your life do you need to bring under dominion of Jesus Christ?