The Total Dominion of Jesus Christ {DWITW 365}
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In the book of Daniel, the prophet acknowledges time and time again the dominion of the one true God -through his actions, words, and visions. Daniel proclaimed the Lord’s dominion when he refused to eat the Babylonian King’s pagan-sacrificed food (Daniel 1), he declared God’s dominion when he interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams (Daniel 2&4), and he made God’s dominion known when he didn’t stop praying to the one true God even though there was a decree to pray only to King Darius (Daniel 6). And by consequence, Daniel entered the lion’s den and the Lord then showed His own dominion by sparing His faithful servant from the lion’s menacing jowls.

Daniel is the only book in the Bible we find this specific Aramaic word for “dominion,” and it is repeated 9 times throughout the book. It is the word “sholtan,” and it means sovereignty or realm. In English, it translates as “the power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign authority, rule; control; domination; a territory, usually of considerable size, in which a single rulership holds sway.”

Keeping these definitions in mind, two verses in Daniel particularly caught my eye which used the term dominion. Daniel 7:13-14 says, “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.”

Although Daniel did not know it at the time, he was speaking of Jesus, our one true King. Jesus identifies himself as the Son of Man in Matt 8:20, 24:30, and 26:64. This identification absolutely scandalized the Pharisees, the religious rulers of his day. To them, it was complete and utter blasphemy. Jesus was claiming His dominion, and they did not want Him to have it.

Sister, Jesus has dominion, whether or not you give it to Him. He is Lord and King over all peoples, nations, and languages. Foremost, He should be Lord and King over the complete territory of your heart. The question really is, do you give Him power, rule, and authority, like Daniel did? Does He have true reign over your every decision, thought, and passion? Does He rule over your relationships, possessions, money, jobs, and family? Do you submit to Him in everything as your king?

What are you still trying to hold your own dominion over? Jesus wants it all, and it is all rightfully His.

And, further, what are you still trying to hold your own dominion over? Jesus wants it all, and it is all rightfully His. His dominion is a great mercy because in reality we are poor rulers over ourselves anyhow. We have proven that endlessly since we, along with Adam and Eve, have tried continually to rule over our own gardens.

Jesus is our King and should be our only King. This is a scandalous notion, indeed. It will absolutely set you apart in every way from this world, whose citizens claim that it is every person’s right to have dominion over themselves. It will be offensive and will get you thrown into the lion’s den. We must trust the everlasting dominion of our God will be more powerful than any den we may face. Look at Jesus! This claim got Him crucified! They labeled His cross correctly: “King of the Jews.”

And yet, Jesus has dominion even over death - the tomb couldn’t keep Him down! His dominion is our greatest hope, even beyond death and the grave. As Paul proclaims in 1 Corinthians 15:55, so we can also proclaim: “O death where is your sting? O death, where is your victory?”

So, when we keep dominion for ourselves or try give it to other false rulers, we forfeit our only hope and victory that is ours in our true King. Let us give complete homage today to the only One who deserves full dominion, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

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 Jillian Vincent loves Jesus. She's a wife, mother of two boys and a Dayton enthusiast. Jillian currently is a stay at home mama and spends nap times jotting on her blog and discipling other women. She would (almost) die for an avocado, a cup of coffee made by her husband, a novel that makes her cry, and a bouquet of sunflowers.

Going Scared {Team Journal}

Today's team journal was written by our Team Lead, Natalie Herr. 

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“King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, ‘I am afraid of the Judeans who have deserted to the Chaldeans, lest I be handed over to them and they deal cruelly with me.’ Jeremiah said, ‘You shall not be given over to them. Obey now the voice of the Lord in what I say to you, and it shall be well with you, and your life shall be spared.” -Jeremiah 38:19-20

 

There’s a story I want to share with you from the book of Jeremiah. It’s about an exchange between Jeremiah the prophet and King Zedekiah. Let me set the scene for you: Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, put Zedekiah on the throne. The people of Judah were in a time of turmoil and upheaval, and Zedekiah was chosen to be the one who would decide if God’s people would surrender to the Chaldeans, come under their rule and therefore escape their attacks on the city of Jerusalem. Zedekiah acted like he wanted to hear from the Lord on this decision (Jer. 37:3,17; 38:14), but ultimately he did not want to accept the difficult truth that Jeremiah had to deliver. Jeremiah was proclaiming to the king and the public that those who stayed in the city would die by fire, and those who surrendered and went into exile would live, and the city would be spared. As you can imagine, that’s not what the leaders wanted to hear, so they threw Jeremiah in jail and stuck him in a cistern and ignored his message from God.

In Jeremiah’s last exchange with Zedekiah, the king opens up and tells Jeremiah that he’s scared. He doesn’t want to surrender to the Chaldeans because he’s afraid he’ll be hurt or killed. This is a very candid and vulnerable admission from a king. So, how does Jeremiah respond? He says to Zedekiah:

“Obey now the voice of the Lord in what I say to you, and it shall be well with you, and your life shall be spared.” Jer. 38:20

Jeremiah pleads with his king; promising that if he would only obey, he would experience the protection and favor of the Lord. If he obeys, then God will save him. Zedekiah is at a decision point. Will he obey God NOW and surrender? Or will he shrink back in fear?

The text tells us that after this, Zedekiah stuck Jeremiah back in house arrest and did nothing. Zedekiah chose not to obey. He chose not to act. He let his fear dictate his actions. Because of his fear, he was captured, watched his children be slaughtered, was struck with blindness and bound in chains as his city burned to the ground. Time was of the essence. The outcome of the whole nation was based on his obedience. But he refused to obey the Lord.

If you’ve continued reading this far, you’ve probably caught on to the point I’m trying to make. God called Zedekiah to obey his voice - and to do it right away. There was no time to waste. Lives were at stake. God was asking him to act out of obedience, not out of fear; he was asking him to trust Him for the outcome, even if it was scary to do so.

God was asking him to act out of obedience, not out of fear; he was asking him to trust Him for the outcome, even if it was scary to do so.

The concept of obedience is hard for us to accept because we want to be in charge. We want to make our own choices. Like Zedekiah, we want to consult God and get his opinion, but we want to ultimately make the final decision ourselves. We want the freedom to walk the other way if we don’t like what God has to say. And the thing that’s very clear in this story is that we actually have this choice! We have the freedom to choose the other way, to go against God. It’s what we’ve been doing as a human race ever since that first mistake in the Garden of Eden. We wait for His voice and when we finally hear it, we get scared. We fear the obedient route because it’s often not the easy route. We shrink back when it feels like He’s asking too much of us.

I can totally relate to Zedekiah here. There are so many times I feel inadequate and scared; not up to the tasks God has asked me to complete. I look at the effort it takes to be a loving spouse or train up Godly children or keep an orderly home or serve my church or take care of my body or run a ministry in His name... and it all seems like too much. It seems like it’s not going to work. It seems like it’s too hard for me. But when God asked Zedekiah to obey, he didn’t leave him wondering what the result would be. He told him clearly: You won’t die! It well be WELL with you. Your life will be spared. Step out in faith NOW and do what I’m asking you to do.

That phrase “be well” is yatab in Hebrew, meaning: to be good, pleasing, glad, joyful, beautiful, right. You see, obedience is good for us. It brings joy. It is right. It is what is in our favor.

I believe that principle stands for us, too. I believe when we choose to obey, it will be yatab. We will experience blessing. Deuteronomy 6:24 tells us that obedience is “for our good (our yatab!) always.” Always! It might not be simple or enjoyable or popular to obey, but it is for our good AND for the good of those around us. Zedekiah had the opportunity to save others’ lives and homes from the fire, but instead, he let everything burn to the ground. Our choices are not just about us. As relational beings, we have the opportunity to bless others with our obedience, as well.

Our choices are not just about us. As relational beings, we have the opportunity to bless others with our obedience, as well.

And so, as Jeremiah called up Zedekiah, I’ll do the same for us. Is there an area of your life where God is asking you to obey NOW? Is there something He keeps bringing up that you keep putting off?

I beg you, my friend: obey his voice NOW. Don’t wait until you feel ready or you have everything you think you need. Go scared. Trust him to work out all the details. Ask Him to help you believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to work in and through your imperfect self. For me right now, that looks like agreeing to setting my alarm early to meet with Him and move my body, even though I’m afraid I won’t follow through. That little step of obedience has the power to change my days and my interactions with others. So, what about you - what does it look like for you to go and obey, even if you’re scared?

Lord, may we all go the way of obedience by the power of your Spirit. May we listen and obey NOW, before it’s too late. Help us refuse to be controlled by fear, and in Jesus’ name, may we never have to watch another city burn.


Natalie Herr is the founder and team leader of Dayton Women in the Word. She is a servant of God, a wife, a mom of four and a God-sized dreamer. She loves teaching and equipping women with God's Word.