Post by Pastor Tim Dillmuth – If we’re not careful, it’s easy to mistake reigning as a spiritually elite activity only for the Super-Christians among us (and just for the record I am not among that elite class).
Reigning is quite the opposite though, in most cases it’s the normal . . . even mundane act of caring for and cultivating the world around us in a way that reflects God’s character and glory (James Davison Hunter). And when it comes to reigning, we don’t only seek to “care and cultivate”, we seek to model that care and cultivation as an example to others around us.
And this Work of Mercy is not some new Christian fad, but it actually dates back to God’s mandate in the creation account (Gen. 1:26-28)!
If you’ll recall, last week I sought to reign through my difficult situation with the newspaper. I did in fact write a letter to the editor, but nothing earth shattering or spectacular happened as a result.
What did happen was that the normal (and yes a little difficult) act of reigning interacted, cared for and cultivated those around me. Let me share a few of the results from last week’s letter to the editor.
- I had the opportunity to interact in a very simple and transparent manner with the editor and the reporter who wrote the article. The reporter who had made the mistake thanked me not only for my understanding, but also for compassion.
- I had a long conversation with a dear friend in which we encouraged each other in mutual opportunities of reigning. His situation involved a neighbor installing a new driveway which was placed carelessly on the wrong side of the property line! Instead of legal action, my friend has been moved (by the Spirit) to redraw the property lines and give the difference to his neighbor as a gift.
- My wife and I have grown in the Lord as we worked through how to respond in a Christ like fashion.
I’m a privacy-coveting American by nature, but it turns out God’s call to us is to be transparent in the mundane–to “let our light shine before men“–so that Christ’s rule
and reign is evident in the everyday moments of our lives. Privacy takes a back seat to calling people to imitate us as we imitate Christ.
So, even within my almost surreal situation with the newspaper, my act of reigning was quite average. And some of the best ways that you can reign could also be described as normal or routine. Normal activities such as faithfulness to your spouse, a daily practice of scripture reading, honesty in all your business dealings are what exemplify the Work of Mercy of reigning.
But . . . you won’t get profiled on Christianity Today for completing these kinds of activities. And chances are no one is going to pat you on the back for your efforts either. And that’s because this goes against the grain of our modern Christian experience. Matthew Redmond says, “It appears that the current evangelical climate is one in which faithfulness and spirituality are measured by the eventful and the big — the bombastic. If the waves are not huge and the shifts are not seismic then we assume a kind of carnality.”
Consider the life of King David. Some of his greatest acts of reigning were done before he was king and often could be described as mundane and thankless. Take a moment to ponder some of the mundane ways that David reigned in these situations.
- David serving King Saul (1 Samuel 16)
- David’s marriage to Michal (1 Samuel 18:17-29)
- David sparing Saul’s life (1 Samuel 24:1-10; 1 Samuel 26)
- David’s kindness (2 Samuel 9 – Occurred when he was king)
I’m sure you figured out by now that by normal and mundane I don’t also mean unimportant. You see, it’s often in these normal, mundane, and thankless efforts that reigning is properly brought to life. The great acts of Christian devotion always start with small acts of Christian obedience.
Do you want to reign with Christ this month? Let’s start with the small, faithful, steady and mundane acts of obedience in our everyday lives.