We hear a lot about human rights, as if it is something that we “moderns” have discovered quite recently. In actuality, we were given unprecedented rights from the very get go! The story of our origins as recorded in the book of Genesis reveals a most fascinating beginning. Having created us in God’s own image, we were given absolute freedom of choice — even to choose between life and death!
As co-workers with God, we were given the power and authority that befitted our status as stewards of God’s wonderful creation. This was a risk that the Almighty was prepared to take. He knew that we could choose to rule with Him, or rebel against Him. Obviously, God wanted us to co-rule with Him over the vast domain that He had placed in our charge.
Sadly, we learn that our life in the Garden was short-lived. The Bible tells us that an agent of envy, an entity we subsequently learn to identify as the expelled rebel of heaven, dropped by to check out God’s pet project. He very quickly succeeded in convincing our ancestors to fallout with God! Unfortunately, we too ended up being expelled from God’s presence.
Should God have pulled the plug on everything right then and there? God could easily have decided to end His grand experiment and start all over again. He most certainly could have done that — but He chose not to cancel our unfolding history. God chose to believe that we were capable of greater things. In spite of all the evidence to the contrary, God chose to hope for a better future.
As time went on, God orchestrated many opportunities for our ancestors to find their way back to Himself. God knew that deep down inside, we had a longing to be reconciled with our maker. Yet every human effort to reconnect with God, ended up becoming an attempt to make ourselves great again. We imagined that we could reach up to God by building high towers — brick by brick.
Eventually, God finally found someone who responded to His overtures. Abraham became the person with whom God could forge a covenant — a relationship built upon an exchange of lasting promises. In exchange for Abraham’s trust in God’s goodness, God promised to bless Abraham. This blessing would involve receiving a land that Abraham’s descendants could call their own, as well as an influence that would impact the whole earth. Through Abraham, all the nations of the world would be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3).
Yet, even with this great attempt by God to restore all things, our human propensity to let our anxieties get the best of us contributed towards the derailing of God’s grand scheme. Abraham’s descendants managed to decouple themselves from God’s restoration project. Once the “Rest” got taken out of the rest-oration, all that was left were empty words. God’s amazing promises to Abraham would now have to wait for the arrival of Jesus — the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
If the Promised Land was to be Israel’s physical inheritance, then the Kingdom of God is to be the Believer’s spiritual inheritance. The Land was a visible and measurable “place” — a territory that could be fought over. The Kingdom is an invisible and unmeasurable “space” — a realm that is to be ruled over.
In a fallen world, these two domains, with their radically different operating systems can never be bridged. Only in Christ can heaven and earth be brought together. Jacob once had a dream of a ladder that stretched from earth to heaven, and the angels of God ascending and descending on it (Genesis 28:12). The only other person who mentions this is Jesus. In a conversation with Nathanael, Jesus tells him that he would see
“heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man” (John 1:50).
This is the reality that God has established for us — His children! Let’s pray that our eyes too may be opened to see Jesus in His full majesty — as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! This is something worth striving for.
Your fellow servants,
🙏 Prayer Requests 🙏
Let us continue to pray for our nation(s) — and for all the governments of the world.
- We most definitely have entered a watershed period in human history. From this point forward — no government on earth will be able to shirk its responsibilities towards its citizens with impunity. God seems to have set the thermostat on His justice system, and justice will begin to roll out like a river (Amos 5:24) — left, right, and center.
Let us also continue to lift up our leaders in prayer.
- All our leaders — no matter what segment of society they are serving in — desperately need our prayers. Most are under the relentless assault of the enemy. Many are also susceptible to slow spiritual drift. To complicate the problem, self-destruction has now become an equal opportunity employer.
Let’s continue to pray for all those who have lost jobs during this difficult period.
- The economic downturn that has hit Thailand as a result of the current pandemic has negatively impacted the lives of many throughout the country. Many of our church members here in Chiang Mai have been unemployed now for months. We are looking after each other as best we can while prayerfully exploring opportunities for generating income.