It's been a very good week of Bible study this week starting with a great video. My small group and I are up to week 5 of Beth Moore's "Jesus the One and Only". Her primary text during the video was Luke 8:22-27. The first portion of that tells of Jesus calling his disciples to join Him in the boat to sail to the other side of the lake across from Galilee. As they're on their way, Jesus falls asleep and the winds and waves kick up so bad that, according to the Word, they were in "great danger". In a panic, they wake Jesus up and He rebukes the storm, challenges the disciples' faith and they're left amazed at His power.
Beth makes the point that when Jesus calls us to go somewhere or through something, He accompanies us and reminds us that He who accompanies us has "dominion" over all things. Waves, winds, storms, troubles of all kinds. She said "We don't have to understand it (a situation) to ask God to take dominion over it." Amen! Absolutely, God, take dominion 'cause only You've got the power to do what truly and rightly needs to be done. Yes! ...I think.
What does that really mean though? Asking God to take "dominion". I kinda thought I understood. "Control", right? I want God to be in control. Of course I do. But...could it mean something more? I decided to look it up. Yep, the word "control" was right there. However, as I scrolled down to look at the synonyms, I saw something interesting. A synonym for "dominion" is "ownership". Well that gives it a bit of a new flavor, doesn't it? It's a little stronger, a little more permanent. "Control" makes me think of driving of a car. We can switch drivers anytime. "Ok, God, you can take the wheel now, this terrain's getting a little too much for me." The "Owner" of the car can kick the "driver" out any time He wants.
I thought immediately of the time my good friend sold her house in NY. She loved that house. That place was in pretty sad shape when they first bought it. In fact, I couldn't see the allure for the life of me, but my friends could see past the hideous, so-shiny-you-can-do-your-makeup-by-it wallpaper and the eensy kitchen with oh-so-little counter space and next-to-no storage to see what they would, over the next many years, turn into a beautiful home anyone would be proud to own. They poured so much of themselves into that home that it tore her up to sell it. But if she had to, she figured she'd pray hard that the people who bought it would love it as much as she did and wouldn't want to change a thing. It killed her to think of what the new owners might want to change. But, once they take ownership, it's theirs. They can do whatever they want or think best, and rightfully so. You accepted their offer, they paid the price so you willingly and naturally give up your rights to it.
But what about when it comes to God? How many times have we asked Him to take control of something? I did when I got saved. I asked Jesus to take control of my life. I ask Him all the time to take control over sickness, my path, my marriage, my kids' lives, all sorts of things. Do I really mean ownership though? That thought gives me pause. That implies that, if He owns it, He can do what He wants with it, regardless of what I think best. And it implies that I've agreed to this. This isn't just some house though; this is my life we're talking about! What's He gonna do? Is He gonna break anything? Probably. Is He gonna toss stuff? Most assuredly. Is He going to change everything? That's the goal. What about bad stuff? How much of that is He gonna let in? As much as He deems appropriate or necessary to complete His plans for the place. It's His now and you gave up any say. Right?
You know what, if it were anybody else I'd handed ownership of my life over to, I'd be scared. But I know this Owner and I love Him dearly. What Jesus took ownership of nearly 30 years ago was in worse shape than my friend's house. The foundation was cracked and the effects and damage from my life's storms were already beginning to show. And yes, He's changed quite a lot. He set my feet on a firm foundation; He's emptied a lot of trash, brought in a lot of beauty and continually expands my perspective on the world around me. And what's more, He's loved me longer and more than I could have ever hoped to be loved by anybody. He's not going anywhere either because He said "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6)
My biggest prayer is that when someone takes a look at my life, they'll see touches of the Owner all over it.