God desires man to subdue the earth, by exercising control over everything in the name and authority of His Son and overcome Satan, who lost all authority to Jesus on the cross.
Recently two large passenger aircrafts were just 30 seconds away from crashing into one another, when one took immediate action to move to lower altitude. The Air Traffic Control organization plans specifics for each flight and the pilots are supposed to follow these to ensure safe travel. God’s will is this specific plan for our lives, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11) and the Word of God declares the flight plan for our lives as prepared by God. There is a general plan for the whole creation and then there is an individual plan for each of us and the two are inter-related in conformity to one another, for one cannot be in violation of the other. God’s plan for the creation is fixed and unchangeable and reveals His great attributes to man to help him attain to that level of perfection.
The ultimate plan of God is fully revealed to Saint John by the Holy Spirit, “And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying, “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever” (Revelation 5:13). God desires that ‘every creature’ must say this and none be left out and “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11). God’s very purpose of creation is to be glorified through the creation knowing and enjoying Him.
Purpose of creation- In the beginning there was a great void and the glory of the Holy Trinity filled the space and as an act of Divine love “God created the heavens….” (Genesis 1:1). To inhabit the heavens in His presence God created the angels, Cherubs, Seraphim and others and granted them their status as per His wish, some above the others due to their tasks and proximity to His throne. Isaiah saw this glorious scene with the seraphim “calling out to one another; “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty, the whole earth is full of His glory” (Isaiah 6:1-3). Lucifer was one such ‘covering cherub’ beautifully created to be in God’s presence but having been filled with pride, rebelled against God and attempted to be like Him. Lucifer with the other one third angels who had rebelled with him was banished to the earth which was created after the heavens. “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the earth” (Genesis 1:2). Lucifer also called “messenger of light” and “morning star” was made to have this dark existence away from the presence of God.
God in His infinite wisdom did not create another being that was superior to the angels to overcome Lucifer/Satan but created a man who is “little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor” (Hebrews 2:7). God created man in “His image and likeness” and this was his ‘glory and honor’ and man was given ‘dominion over everything’ with the command to “be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). God was well aware of Satan’s presence on the earth and desired man to occupy and rule the earth and through daily visits a twofold program started; first to reveal Himself to the first two inhabitants and second to equip them to be the rulers. Garden of Eden, a place fit enough to be the habitation of the two rulers was specifically created by God. God desired man to have eternal life and the Tree of Life was especially provided for this very purpose in the Garden. The exact characteristics of this tree are provided in Revelation 22:2 “Tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations”. God created the ruler, a healthy individual equipped with His knowledge and trained to rule but disobedience of man put a halt to this.
Jesus’ role and glory– The Son of God first appears on the earth at God’s Word “Let there be light” and the Word fills the earth with His glory for the next three days till the sun, moon and the stars are created. Like the moon which does not have its own light but reflects the light of the sun, man is also created to reflect the glory of the Lord God, the glory acquired through knowing Him. Lord Jesus is the Creator “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:15-16). He reveals God to man from the beginning of creation to eternity.
God’s will for man- God’s will for man is very clear from the creative process itself, for He wants man to rule over the earth and overcome the designs and deceptions of Satan. The Lord declares this intention for man “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21). The only way man can defeat and overcome Satan in his designs is by acquiring his original status of being in the ‘image of likeness of God’. The way has been made much easier for us by Lord Jesus that He defeated Satan on the cross and has taken back all authority from him. Nobody can be in the image of another till he knows him closely and God reveals Himself to man from the beginning of creation.
How God reveals Himself- There are three different ways that we can know God and understand Him and His will. The three steps to this process are:
- To interpret the signs – Apostle John narrates the event of water being turned into wine by the Lord in Cana of Galilee and then shows that “This beginning of signsJesus did—–and manifested His glory” (John 2:11). Understanding these signs is to understand the doings of God and thus knowing Him. This helps us in understanding His working process and allows us to reach out to Him and the miracles or signs provided by the Lord revealed His glory to the multitudes. In like manner we know His ways through the Word and the assurances provided by Him.
- To know the principles of God’s working- The basic and essential principle is that God is the great I AM and He never changes. For Him the past, present and future are the same for He knows everything from eternity to eternity. King David knew the principles of God’s working and desired to “fall in to the hands of the Lord, for His mercy is great” and could stop the plague after offering sacrifices at the altar made after purchasing the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite (2 Samuel 24:14-25).
The above two steps of knowing God were the two ways that God revealed Himself during the Old Testament times. Such knowledge is helpful in releasing the Word of God in prayer in faith that it will not return void but will achieve the intended results as per the will of God (Isaiah 55:10-11). This helps us in increasing our faith in prayer and in obtaining the answers to the same but this knowledge is neither deep enough nor inward.
- Knowing the nature of God-Under the New Testament blessings, our Lord promised to send the in dwelling Comforter, God the Holy Spirit, to help us have an intimate fellowship with Him and get to know God himself. The Holy Spirit reveals God to us, empowers us to fight Satan and his agents and emerge victorious. The blessing is cast your cares on God and ‘resist Satan, steadfast in the faith’ to make him flee from you. Though we should still complete the first two steps also but we develop an intimate relationship with God through the Holy Spirit.
Knowing God involves an outward and an inward knowledge and during the Old Testament times one could only have the outward knowledge of God. In the Epistle to the Hebrews, who claimed to be the ‘sons of Abraham’, the promise of the Lord (Isaiah 54:13 & John 6:45) is repeated “No longer will they teach their neighbor or say to one another, “Know the Lord” because they will all know Me” (Hebrews 8:11). The two Greek words used in this verse provide a deeper understanding of knowing God; the first word ‘ginosko’ signifies the outward, objective knowledge while the second word “oida’ refers to the inward subjective consciousness. Our Lord told the Pharisees that they did not know (ginosko) God the Father (even in the outward objective way) while He knew (oida) Him in the inward and subjective consciousness.
What is the advantage of knowing God in our daily life? – Knowledge of God, both inward and outward is essential to understand Him and this understanding of truth ‘sets us free’ from the deceits and lies of Satan. God dwells in us to reveal His nature to us, thus helping us to change our nature to be like His. Another important benefit is the revelation of the essence, purpose and meaning of every Word in the Scriptures, thereby enabling us to mould our lives and our prayers based on the same. This knowledge reveals the purpose of our very being and thus we can seek His help in fulfilling the Divine will through the internal empowerment of the Holy Spirit by shaping our behavior, actions and desires to be in consonance with His will.
God’s will in the New Covenant– Lord Jesus has taken our weaknesses, inequities and infirmities on Himself on the cross and the benefits of the Tree of Life for a healthy life are given to us. Satan having been defeated by Him, “All authority has been given to Me (Jesus) in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18) and He in turn authorizes “he who believes in Me, the works I do he will do also, and greater works than these he will do” (John 14:12). The dominion that was snatched by Satan in the Garden of Eden has been restored to ‘he who believes in Jesus’ and the kingdom of God has been established in us for we have been His children with inheritance rights. The power to do the Divine will has been provided to us in the mighty name of Jesus to reclaim our lost territory.
Job believed in God and his prayers were answered through restoration of double of what he had lost to Satan. The will of God is to throw the ‘mountain in to the sea’ by giving a command in Jesus’ name. The kingship is ours and the finality of this will be at the Lord’s second coming when the evil will be finally chained for a thousand years and tried thereafter.
The deceiver’s aim is to cause us to misinterpret the Gospel and the Lord’s will like he attempted with the Lord in the wilderness. The Lord ignored the lies and overcame and has equipped us to do the same. This is God’s will for mankind- “be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it”. Reach out to others in darkness and multiply the number of believers to subdue the earth.
Destiny awaits us to do greater works and overcome- the need is faith and action!!