ONE of the most strengthening concepts found in the Bible is that God gave man dominion. The Psalmist, referring to the creator and to the man of His creating, sang: ``Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.''1 The Psalmist's words point to the direct relationship between God and man. They indicate that we were not made vulnerable to evil, subordinate to forces apart from God that can cause suffering.
Yet people often feel subject to evil influences they believe to be beyond their control, whether disease, economic hardship, or some other cruel imposition. People often feel dominated by other people or by a system of government. And these problems are certainly widespread.
Although circumstances may suggest that freedom is an impossibility, that certain individuals will always be subordinate to other individuals, we can begin to break through this conviction and find God-given liberty.
This is not to say that children, for example, shouldn't obey parents or that an orderly chain of authority in an organization isn't appropriate. But oppression is never appropriate. Personal domination is illegitimate.
The issue boils down to this: Are we subordinate to God or to man? Are we governed by divine law or by circumstances?
The Bible's central message and its illustrations of healing tell us that God governs man and that through prayer to the one God and obedience to His law we can begin to prove this. The need is not so much to ask God to manipulate circumstances that seem impossible to overcome as it is to glimpse something of the spiritual truth of creation; to glimpse God's love for man and man's real being, which is always safe in His care, always at peace.
Christ Jesus once said, ``The kingdom of God is within you.''2 It's within our own consciousness that we take steps forward to freedom, because it's within consciousness that we discern the truth which makes free. It's within our own thought that we begin to feel and know through prayer that the whole picture of ourselves as unfortunate mortals victimized by other mortals is fraudulent. It's a lie about what God has created. It's a lie about our relationship to Him. It's a lie about His power.
To open our thought to the possibility that reality, in its truest sense, lies beyond the moment's appearances is to take a first step in destroying the lie. The reality that God is good and supreme and that man as His spiritual likeness is governed by Him alone is not impractical. It's not a naive theory. It's the very key to progress.
``Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law,''3 the Psalmist prayed. Through prayer our eyes can be opened to see that there is hope because God is almighty. There is hope because all individuals are, in truth, governed by the one divine Mind, not by finite minds, dominating or being dominated. Referring to man, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says: ``His birthright is dominion, not subjection. He is lord of the belief in earth and heaven, -- himself subordinate alone to his Maker.''4 And in another place she writes, ``Man is tributary to God, Spirit, and to nothing else.''5
To discern this in prayer is to find peace within. It's to gain increasing dominion over circumstances and to recognize that complete freedom is indeed possible -- and inevitable.
1Psalms 8:5, 6. 2Luke 17:21. 3Psalms 119:18. 4Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 518. 5Ibid., p. 481.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. II Corinthians 3:17