There is a well-known expression: Q: How do you eat an elephant? A: One bite at a time. The meaning is obvious. If you are going to tackle a big job or endeavor, you have to take it step by step. Attempting to get to the end result, without doing the intermediate steps ensures that even if you should get the result, many in-between components may get shortchanged. This is also true when playing the game of chess. While being able to think many moves ahead is valuable, one must play each move in order to proceed with one’s ultimate strategy of winning the game.
Why would we think it any different with the dominion mandate? God told Adam and Eve that they should be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. When the couple was confronted with an appealing, alternative strategy for achieving desired results, they rejected the God-ordained rules/steps that would lead to success and favor with God. Instead, they plummeted themselves and their posterity (us) into sin, making the entire process something other than what the original task would have been. The deciding factor was disobedience.
Because too many people think of work as a curse rather than part of the dominion mandate, anything that has to do with work is often deemed negative. I would venture that most who read the Fourth Commandment think of it primarily as a commandment to rest; yet it is every bit as much a work commandment, since a complete reading specifies six days of work prior to resting from our labors. Unlike the foolish decision of our first parents, who believed they knew better than God how to execute their work, we who have been born again in the Spirit have the benefit of knowing the history of man’s disobedience to God and the benefit of adhering to God’s Holy Word. Now we can embrace godly work on God’s terms rather than shun it. This is what the dominion mandate is all about—doing the work of the Kingdom according to the law-word of God.
God did not give Adam and Eve an impossible task to perform. In their sinless state, godly dominion was very doable. He gave them all the resources they would need to develop the Garden of Eden as a pilot project to be replicated in the entire earth. They just had to tackle their “elephant” one bite at a time. And, I submit, that it is the same with us. The dominion tasks that we are called to do, do not involve anything that God has not equipped His children to perform. The problem arises when we are dissatisfied with the obvious mundane tasks in front of us that will result in dominion, and desire to do more glamorous works or work that will earn a greater round of applause from those we deem to be our audience. If we fail to see that the primary audience is and will remain the Lord, we’ll experience frustration and bail out of our task or calling before we achieve His desired results.
Since I embraced the concept and duties of Christian Reconstruction, I have had to learn patience and perseverance when it came to the many tasks God has called me to do. You might wonder how I knew I was truly hearing from Him. In the most obvious way, since I was a wife and mother, my dominion tasks were going to be family-focused and proceed from that context. There were other times, though, when I felt compelled to add to my dominion tasks and had to learn whether I was legitimately hearing from God. This took practice and discernment. When I ran some of my ideas past my husband and others at Chalcedon, sometimes I didn’t get the positive response I was hoping for. It would have been easy to just abandon them, but it was at these times when I learned which ones to hold on to and which to let go. In many cases, the result of prayer encouraged me that the seed still needed to mature. Much like a pregnancy takes time, often my ideas needed to germinate and develop. Allowing God’s timetable to prevail rather than my own allowed me to think ahead to what important pieces needed to be put into place to make my idea become a reality. So long as I kept seeking God’s guidance and the prompting of the Holy Spirit kept the fire alive, I worked to get consensus and support.
I knew I was on the right track when others I had pitched my ideas to made the very same suggestions to me, often times forgetting I had presented the ideas in the first place. This served as a confirmation that I should proceed with the necessary steps. Seeing the various projects through was rewarding, but mostly it was a sense that I had responded to God’s call, and had seen His assignment through to completion. Yes, relief was present, but I always had an expectation that now I was ready for my next assignment.
Sometimes God called me to tutor students other than my own children. I had to be patient through their learning process, as I had not been the one to raise them. I had to learn who my students were in order to serve them better. I also had to be patient when they were a half an hour late to sessions because their parent had misjudged her schedule. I discovered that in many cases, the parents were somewhat clueless in terms of their responsibilities under God. This meant that I had to “tutor” them in a non-threatening, winsome manner.
One time I had to secure another venue for a Chalcedon event, when two weeks prior to it the contracted venue stated they didn’t want to host us, as we were too controversial. I could go on, but I think you get the point. Once I embraced that God is responsible for the outcome and I am responsible for my faithfulness, the process became more satisfying. Notice I didn’t say it became easier, because that was not always the case. Obedience doesn’t guarantee calm waters. Sometimes it means the boat might just capsize. Again, the outcome is in the hands of the Lord.
Currently my mind is flooded with ideas as to how to get more Christian families to secure a Christian education for their children, either by convincing the parents that they can successfully homeschool or help those who have limited resources and educational skills have their children attend a solid, Christian school.
There are many hurdles to jump in order to get this to happen. I need qualified candidates, willing sponsors, and the patience to overcome trivial and genuine obstacles. Being a constant student of the Bible is vital. By learning of the trials and temptations to quit of our forebears in the faith, I can more readily hang-in-there when things get cumbersome and frustrating. You’d be amazed at just how mundane most dominion work is. Staying the course has more to do with believing that our Lord is truly the King of kings and Lord of lords than it does with immediate success. In fact, reviewing the history of our great cloud of witnesses helps cement the perspective that we will not always see the fruits of our labors.
Learning I Don’t Know Everything
God has impressed upon me the need to reach out to brothers and sisters in the faith who might not have the exact same theological perspectives. One thing this Covid-19 era has demonstrated to me is that where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. I have found more in common with those I may have previously dismissed, simply because I find more genuine fellowship with their desire to obey God in the midst of statist threats and mandates. Dominion then involves sharing with them how much they actually do agree with theonomy and the need to reconstruct our society on the basis of the law-word of God.
The Future is Bright
Because I firmly believe that there is much still to accomplish in pursuing godly dominion, I know that faithful families must be a part of the equation. But how will committed Christians find each other? Here is where being faithful has everything to do with success.
Years ago when I ran out of children to homeschool, I began writing books to help Christian families. As a result, I began doing studies from Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law with women in my locale and online across the world. My students were women who wanted to learn the law-word of God to be better able to impart it to their children. Now, over a decade later, some of them (at my prodding) have established contact with each other, introducing their children to each other, and some marriages have resulted.
So, add to my dominion work the pleasure of introducing women and men who wish to begin families, establishing them on a firm foundation in Biblical law and faithfulness. I joke that they should name their first-borns after me, but I’m just thrilled that geographical location has not become an impossible hurdle for couples to find each other.
The Conclusion of the Matter
One of the passages in Scripture that is always at the forefront of my mind is from the book of Ecclesiastes, where the Preacher says, “Hear the conclusion of the matter. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” This is the prescription for dominion. Notice that it isn’t an optional piece of advice, but a mandate in the truest sense of the word.
All of us have dominion work that is suited specifically to the talents, abilities, and circumstances God has provided. Where the spirit is willing, the flesh will be strong. And, if you need any encouragement along the way, I’m ready and willing to help guide you. The only requirement is that you believe, without question, that God has given you a job that He has created especially for you!