We all want control, but why?
We all want control of our own lives
To be dependent on no one
To have self-sufficiently won
Is there purpose for such a desire?
To rely on one’s self and so retire
My question for you, then, is this: is there a Biblical basis for self-sufficiency? Is there Godly honor in our being able to provide for ourselves, and lessening our reliance on others? Scripture tells us of a time when Christ will reign on this earth, before the new earth is created, and before God’s people receive their inheritance along with Christ. The prophet Isaiah writes of such a Kingdom and gives some details as to what God’s ideal is for His people on this current earth: ideals which we can, at least in part, accomplish and should strive toward while we live on this earth.
“For I will create a new heaven and a new earth; the past events will not be remembered or come to mind. Then be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I will create Jerusalem to be a joy and its people to be a delight. I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people. The sound of weeping and crying will no longer be heard in her. In her, a nursing infant will no longer live only a few days, or an old man not live out his days. Indeed, the youth will die at a hundred years, and the one who misses a hundred years will be cursed. People will build houses and live in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They will not build and others live in them; they will not plant and others eat. For My peoples lives will be like the lifetime of a tree. My chosen ones will fully enjoy the work of their hands. They will not labor without success or bear children destined for disaster, for they will be a people blessed by the Lord along with their descendants. Even before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but the serpents food will be dust! They will not do what is evil or destroy on My entire holy mountain, says the Lord.” –Isaiah 65:17-25 HCSB
Why this might refer to Christ’s reign on this earth
First of all, we must wrestle with the idea that in Christ’s Kingdom, death will be permitted, though the life-span of the people within that kingdom will be lengthened to a great extent. On the New Earth (our eternal existence with God) there will be no death and no sorrow (Revelation 21). Furthermore, God’s ideal for human life is life that does not experience death (Genesis 2:17). Thus, we can conclude that when God removes all corruption, the death that is caused by that corruption will be no more.
Second, men and women will still bear children in the Kingdom described here by Isaiah. I am confident enough to claim that there will be no childbearing on the New Earth after, along with Christ, God’s people have received their inheritance. This is mainly due to the fact that man’s responsibility to “fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28) will have been completed. It also makes sense that if all people are to have a choice as to whether or not they want to accept Christ as King, that all people are to be born on this earth, where it is possible to turn from God.
Finally, we must consider that no past events will be remembered or come to mind. If there were to truly be a “new earth” there would be no past worldly events to be remembered. Thus, it would be nonsensical to refer to any past events on that earth whatsoever. Thus, when Isaiah refers to the creation of a new heaven and earth we can conclude (though it is not necessary) that this is a statement more of revival than of new creation. For instance: we, as Christians, refer to ourselves as “new creations” even though we are currently the same people (we have the same bodies and minds), only experiencing revival or sanctification in Christ.
Notion of self-sufficiency
We should notice also that in Christ’s future Kingdom on this earth (where Christ is actually reigning physically), people will keep their own gardens and build their own houses to live in. The one idea I wish to point out is this: that if self-sufficiency is Christ’s ideal for His future kingdom on this earth, then it is conceivable that the self-sufficiency of God’s people actually serves the glory and honor of our God! To put it in other terms, when we learn to provide more for ourselves and for our families, we depend less on the world (worldly government in particular). When we depend less on the world, we become more able to depend on God.
The two-fold challenge
So, being self-sufficient is an admirable trait, but means nothing if we fail to use it in order that our relationship with Christ might be enhanced. The only reason any individual should become more self-sufficient is so that he or she can focus more on God and become more dependent solely on God. Men were not designed to rule over men. Men were designed to be ruled by God and only God. Today’s challenge is two-fold:
- Each of us should become as self-sufficient as we can be. We should learn how to provide for ourselves and for our families. It is part of Christ’s ideal.
- We use our growing independence from the world in order to depend more on God, thus restoring the natural order, at least in part, and becoming enabled to represent God in a greater degree to the lost and dying world around us.
Our desire for control can be used for God’s glory, and I am convinced dwells within us naturally, as we were created in God’s image (and God has absolute control). It is our decision, then, as to whether or not we use this desire for control to either become our own master, or to increase our dependence on the King of kings. One thing is for certain, the only worthwhile pursuit in this life and the next is service to God, the King of kings.