Who’s Domain?

Territory

rattlesnake

I grew up in West Texas where they say “Everything is bigger!”  My family always lived in the wilderness, not in an urban setting, affording me the treasures and pleasures of outdoor life in its West Texas finest.  As a kid, I did all the normal kid things.  We played hide-n-seek, shoot-em up westerns, and tag football in the street, watch cartoons on the black-n-white TV.  When we got bored with these activities, we’d just go on down to the junk yard and watch the old cars rust.  Ah, those were the days.

Traipsing around the raw prairie outside my back door, I hunted Jack Rabbits by the hundreds, never making a tiny dent in the population of varmints that ate my mother’s flowers.  Along with all the benefits of living so close to the wild, there were also a few downsides.  Rattlesnakes and scorpions lived there too.  In fact these dangerous critters seem to think they owned the place, that it was their domain.  I had to learn very early in life to watch where I was walking out there in a territory that hasn’t changed much in the last several thousand years.  Humanity and modernization notwithstanding, the prairies of West Texas at times seem untouched by human hands, if you look in the right places.

Which makes me curious about exactly why God made Horned Toads in the first place.  Did God think to Himself, “One day, Texas Christian University is going to need a mascot for its football team. Hmmm, I think I’ll make a Horned Toad?”  Ludicrous, I know, but it makes you think.  Most of the time we don’t really know why God created some of the creatures that inhabit this planet.  And with all those other galaxies, and planets in the night sky, we are right to wonder if God hasn’t created other creatures on other planets, and think they are just as weird as that West Texas toad that has horns, and prickly places all over its back.

Rattlesnakes, well really snakes in general, kinda creep me out.  I don’t like them, never have, never will.  I have my fair share of run-ins with these slithering sacks of venom, and if I never see one again it will be too soon.  Snakes probably get a bad rap today because of how they are seen in the Bible.  In my mind’s eye, every time my Sunday School teacher would talk about Satan in the garden, taking on the form of a snake, whispering in Eve’s ear, I would envision my last rattlesnake encounter and shiver.

Which takes me to my main point for this word: Territory.  The fact is that while this old earth was supposed to be man’s domain, Sin has caused us to take a back seat to the Tempter as “the god of this world.”  For now, every human is subject to the Sin of the garden, and its accompanying curses, which ultimately lead to death.  It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  Yet, because we have choice by design, God also, in His infinite wisdom, made a provision for Adam’s and our bad choice of not worshiping Him as God.  God allows us to be subject to Death, until we trust in His only Son Jesus for salvation.  God still owns this world.  Jesus is the rightful King.  We are the rightful stewards.  Yet, until the consummation of human history found in the Book of Revelation, Satan is still “the god of this world.”  See it for yourself.

2 Corinthians 4:1-4
Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

The slithering snake of ancient days is the god of this present world.  It’s not hard to see, it’s not hard to understand or comprehend.  One day, the Creator will take back this world that is rightfully His.  One day, the redeemed of God will be transformed into the perfected human beings God designed us to be.  One day God’s domain will again display God’s dominion and glory.  When?  Well that’s the question isn’t it?  We can’t know the time, the day, or the year, but there are things we can know.  If you want to discover more about God’s plan for taking back what’s is rightfully His domain, His Territory, click here

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Lush

via Lush

My uncle Wiley always said, “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy!”  Lush.  I have fond memories of my uncle and his constant barrage of jokes and wit.  I can’t remember a time when I was around him that I felt threatened, afraid, or bored.  When his visit to our house was over, he always left our home with a phrase I still use today: “Glad you got to see me!”  His life seemed full and large to me… Lush.

Golf in west Texas can often be the opposite.  In fact growing up in Odessa, Texas, we considered it a huge success if we could find the lush section of any given fairway.  I’ve played on a few now, over the last several years, and I can say with some authority, there is a huge difference playing off lush fairways instead of waste areas.

I’ve had steak and potatoes all my life, Texas boys usually do.  Some were overcooked, some were barely cooked, some were tender, some were still kicking, but hey, it was steak so there you go.  When you have the rare experience (no pun intended) of ordering steak and have it arrive in front of you perfectly cooked, succulent, tasty, and juicy… that’s lush.

Perhaps what many people experience in their spiritual relationship with God is the fontal lobotomy, waste area landing zone, or something less than a succulent steak.  But my question is, “Why?”  Surely God doesn’t intend for us to play or live in these kinds of existences all our lives.  I realize everyone encounters a tough road every now and then, the proverbial steak that’s still kicking.  But certainly this shouldn’t be the defining attribute of our communion with God.

I’m not into the “name it – and claim it” prosperity gospel being presented in some Christian circles today.  Yet it seems just as clear that those of the more conservative Christian variety seem to go so extreme in the opposite direction, that they feel they aren’t spiritual enough until they “prefer” the wasteland to the Promised land.  Didn’t Jesus say, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:10]  My heart believes that Jesus means: spend some time in the lush life I promised you!

Paul told his readers:  1 Corinthians 10:31
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Today I want to challenge you to live in the lush promised land found only in the abundant life that Jesus offers… to all who will step over that line of faith… into Him!

lush