Today’ selected reading continues in the New Testament epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Ephesian congregation. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses twenty-one through thirty-three of the fifth chapter. Upon reading the first verse of this particular portion of Scripture I am immediately gripped and captivated by the first word that is contained therein. If you begin reading with and from the twenty-first verse of the fifth chapter you will encounter a word that not many men and women enjoy talking about—much less actually practicing within their lives. If you begin reading in and with the twenty-first verse of the fifth chapter you will notice that the first word that is contained therein is the word “submitting,” which as we know is another variation of the word “submit.” It’s worth considering that more often than not this word and this concept of “submission” is directly linked and connected to authority and those who have been placed in positions of authority and leadership over us. What marks this particular passage of Scripture is so incredibly unique is not that it uses the word “Submitting,” but rather that it uses the word “submitting” in direct connection to each other. We are used to hearing sermons being preached, and we are used to reading books which have been written about submission to authority and submission to those in leadership over and around us, but rarely if ever do we hear sermons preached concerning our being submissive and our submitting ourselves to those around us. Consider if you will the full twenty-first verse that is found within the fifth chapter of the epistle which was written unto the Ephesian congregation: “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5:21). I have to admit that I am actually quite surprised and stunned by the use of the words which the apostle Paul wrote in this particular passage, for not only does the apostle Paul use the word “submit,” but the apostle also uses the word “submit” in direct connection to each other. What’s more, is the apostle Paul uses this concept of submission, and that of submission to each other in direct connection to the fear of God. The apostle Paul doesn’t merely instruct and admonish us to submit ourselves one to another, but he also instructs us to do so in the fear of God. Please pay close attention to the use of “the fear of God,” which the apostle Paul used in this passage of Scripture, for that which he is writing is essentially that our submission one to another should have its foundation in the fear of God.
If you ready and study Scripture you will notice and discover that the authors of the books contained within Scripture have a lot to say about the fear of the Lord. In particular, if you read the Old Testament book of the Proverbs you will find that Solomon himself had a lot to say concerning the fear of the Lord. Almost as soon as this Old Testament book opens we find Solomon immediately writing and speaking of the fear of the Lord, for in the seventh verse of the first chapter we find the following words: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction “(Proverbs 1:7). In the twenty-ninth verse of the same chapter we find Solomon writing and speaking of those who “hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord” (Proverbs 1:29). Thus within the very first chapter of the Old Testament book fo the Proverbs we not only find that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but we also find that it is possible both to chose and not to chose the fear of the Lord. In all reality, as certainly as the fear of the Lord is beginning of all knowledge, it is absolutely something we make a conscious and deliberate decision to choose within and throughout the course of our lives. What’s more, is that when you come to the second chapter of the same Old Testament book of Proverbs you will discover that it is possible to understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God, but only if receive the words which have been written, hide the commandments within our heart, inline our ear unto wisdom, apply our heart to understanding, and cry out after knowledge and lift up our voice for understanding (Proverbs 2:1-5). When you come to the third chapter of this same Old Testament book you will find Solomon writing and speaking to his son instructing him to not be wise in his own eyes, but to fear the Lord and depart from evil. Thus, fearing the Lord is not only a departing from and shunning evil, but fearing the Lord is a conscious and deliberate decision to choose not to be wise in our own eyes. This reality is further echoed in the eighth chapter of the same Old Testament book, for we find Solomon writing how the fear of the Lord is to hate evil. What’s more, is that within the eighth chapter we find wisdom speaking and declaring that pride, and arrogance, and the evil way, and the perverse mouth wisdom hates and abhors. I am completely and utterly convinced that if we want to gain a true and proper understanding of the fear of the Lord we must needs turn and direct our attention to the Old Testament book of Proverbs, for Solomon who was considered to be the wisest man to ever walk upon the face of the earth had a great deal to say concerning the fear of the Lord.
When you come to the ninth chapter of this same Old Testament book of Proverbs you will find that Solomon goes on to write how the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and how the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Proverbs 9:10). In the tenth chapter Solomon goes on to write how the fear of the Lord prolongs days, but how the years of the wicked will be shortened (Proverbs 10:27). As you come to the fourteenth chapter you will find it written that “in the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge (Proverbs 14:27). In the fifteenth chapter we also read that “better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure with trouble” (Proverbs 15:16). Within the same chapter Solomon goes on to write how the fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility (Proverbs 15:33). In the very next chapter we find Solomon writing how “in mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity,” and how “by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil” (Proverbs 16:6). In the twenty-third verse of the nineteenth chapter the author goes on to write how “the fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction—he will not be visited with evil” (Proverbs 19:23). Just three chapters later the author writes that “by humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life” (Proverbs 22:4). Perhaps the single greatest word of instruction concerning the fear of the Lord found within the Old Testament book of Proverbs is found in the seventeenth verse of the twenty-third chapter: “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the LORd all the day” (Proverbs 23:17). With these words, the author not only instructs us to keep our heart from envying sinners, but the author also instructs us to be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day. Thus, we are to continually give and devote ourselves to pursuing and going hard after the fear of the Lord. In the twenty-verse of the twenty-fourth chapter the author instructs his son to fear the Lord and the king, and to not associate with those given to change, (Proverbs 24:21) “for their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?” (Proverbs 24:22). In this particular verse the author not only instructs us to fear the Lord, but the author also instructs us to fear the king—and not only to fear the king, but not refuse to meddle with them that are given to change.
In all reality, I am absolutely and utterly surprised and shocked by how necessary the fear of the Lord is within the heart and life of a child of God. One thing you will notice when reading the Old Testament book of Proverbs is the familial language that is contained therein, for much of what we find and read in this Old Testament poetic book is instruction passed down from a father to his son. Oh, I can’t help but see the spiritual application that is contained within this Old Testament book, for while much of what is contained in this book is Solomon writing unto his son(s), we can interpret what we find and read in this passage as being the heart of the Father in heaven for and toward His sons and His daughters here within and here upon the earth. In all reality, I am convinced that we cannot truly have a discussion about submission—whether it be submission to those in authority, submission to those who are in leadership, or submission to those among and those around us—without first having a proper understanding of the fear of the Lord. There is not a doubt in my mind that when the apostle Paul instructed the Ephesian congregation to submit themselves one to another, and directly connected this reality of submission to the fear of the Lord, he recognized and understood how interconnected submission and the fear of the Lord truly are. For the apostle Paul, I would dare say that he would not and could not have a conversation concerning submission without and apart from also writing and speaking of the fear of the Lord. I believe with everything that is inside of me that the apostle Paul believed that we could not truly submit ourselves to one another until and unless we had a proper understanding of the fear of the Lord. What’s more, is that I do not believe that we can adhere to and walk in the words which the apostle Paul wrote in this passage of Scripture without having already begun walking in the fear of the Lord. Furthermore, I am convinced that unless one walks in the fear of the Lord on a daily and consistent basis, it will be absolutely and incredibly difficult to even come remotely close to submitting themselves to those around them. With that being said, there is a part of me that doesn’t believe the words of the apostle Paul speak only of our submission to the brethren and those among us in the house of the Lord. It would be incredibly easy for us to believe that this submission only speaks of and touches the brethren among us within the house of the Lord, however, it is much more difficult, and it requires so much more of us to submit ourselves to those around us—particularly and especially if they are not among us as part of the brethren in Christ.
The more I read and consider this reality of submitting ourselves one to another the more I can’t help but think that in addition to us only being capable of doing so by walking in the fear of the Lord, we must also learn to get over ourselves and truly live beyond ourselves. I am convinced that one of the hardest things to do in my own life, and undoubtedly one of the hardest things to do in your life is to get over ourselves and to live beyond us ourselves. More often than not we like to be caught up and consumed within our own little world and at the same time completely neglecting and ignoring those who are around us. One of the easiest things for us to do is to live in our own little worlds—worlds which by the way we have created ourselves by ourselves and for ourselves—and to keep others as outsiders not only unable to look in, but also to enter. What’s more, is that we spend a considerable amount of time, effort and energy guarding and protecting the worlds we have created—worlds in which we are in charge and where our desires, our ambitions, our intentions, our needs, our wants, and the like are center stage. So long as it is just us ourselves in a world we have created for ourselves we won’t ever to live beyond ourselves and live for others. Please understand that this is not conjecture, nor is it speculation, for when it comes to not only creating such a world, but also guarding and protecting such a world—I am not only the client, but I am also the president. I have spent a considerable amount of time within my own life creating a world that is exclusive to me, myself and I, where the only person I have to answer to, and the only person I have to look out for is myself. We have all heard the phrase and expression “It’s your world, we’re just living in it,” and yet I am convinced that phrase is only partially true. I would like to take that phrase, turn it upside down, flip it on its head and declare that more often than not it is our world and we the only one’s living in it. This is a far cry from the God of heaven who created the heavens and the earth, but created it in order that He might enjoy and experience fellowship with others. It is true that prior to the creation of the heavens and the earth the triune Godhead was in perfect harmony, perfect unity, and perfect fellowship within itself and among its members, but when the heavens and the earth were created, they were created so others could live and dwell in it.
CREATING A WORLD SO OTHERS CAN DWELL THEREIN! CREATING A WORLD THAT IS BEYOND OURSELVES! CREATING A WORLD THAT IS NOT ABOUT OURSELVES ALONE! CREATING A WORLD WHERE IT’S NOT ONLY ABOUT US! Please understand that I am in any way suggesting that the heavens and the earth were created as a means to demonstrate that the triune Godhead needed to somehow express that it was all about themselves. Well—in a way, the creation of the heavens and the earth are actually a statement and declaration that it wasn’t merely all about them, for when the heavens and the earth were created, they were created fo fellowship could exist beyond themselves. If even the triune Godhead created the heavens and the earth so they could exist beyond themselves, what makes us think that we are somehow any different? The creation of the heavens and the earth was an emphatic and powerful demonstration and manifestation that the triune Godhead sought to live beyond themselves, and sought for something that was outside of and apart from themselves. It was true that when man was created they were created in the image of the triune Godhead, and after the likeness of the triune Godhead were they created, however, when man was created they were created as a powerful outlet and demonstration of fellowship. When we read the first two chapters of the Old Testament book of Genesis, and when we read of the creation of the heavens and the earth we must recognize and understand that the heavens and the earth weren’t created for the enjoyment of the triune Godhead. When God created the heavens and the earth, He created both for the enjoyment and pleasure of man whom He would create to dwell within and exist upon the earth. When the Lord created the heavens and the earth He created it as an extension of fellowship and community that would exist beyond eternity, and that which would exist in the realm of time and space. It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand this, for when the heavens and the earth were created, they were created so the triune Godhead could live beyond itself and enjoy fellowship and community with man which would be created and formed from the dust of the earth.
I feel it absolutely necessary and imperative that I include in this writing words which are written and recorded in this first book of the Old Testament, for it helps us understand the heart and mind of God, which has always been and will always be fellowship. What’s more, is that immediately after presenting you with that which is written in the Old Testament book of Genesis, I will then turn and direct your attention to the final book of the New Testament—the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ—for it is there where we find the creation of a new heavens and a new earth that would exist to accomplish that which the first heavens and the first earth were meant to accomplish prior to the fall of man in the garden. Consider if you will the words which Moses wrote in the first chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis:
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gather together of the waters called He Seas: and God saw that was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl afterhis kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. And God said said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:1-25).
The first twenty-five verses of the first chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis describe the creation of the heavens and the earth, while when we come to the twenty-sixth verse of the same chapter we find creation shifting from the creation of the physical and natural realm in terms of the heavens and the earth. When we come to the twenty-sixth verse of this same chapter, however, we find the creation of the heavens and the earth being completed, yet the Lord still could not take His rest. The seventh day rest of the Lord from His creation would come, but there was one final piece to creation that needed to be created. If you begin reading with and from the twenty-sixth verse of the first chapter you find the creation of man in the image and after the likeness of the triune Godhead. Consider if you will the words that are recorded in verses twenty-six through twenty-eight of the first chapter concerning the creation of man: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:26-28). If you turn and direct your attention to the seventh verse of the second chapter you will find additional commentary concerning the creation of man, for Moses records how “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). In verses twenty-six through twenty-eight of the first chapter, as well as in the seventh verse of the second chapter we read of the creation of man. In the eighth verse of the second chapter we find that after Adam was formed from the dust of the earth outside the garden, the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed. Thus, first came the creation and formation of man from the dust of the earth outside the garden, then came the planting of the garden eastward in Eden, and finally came the planting of man within the garden. We again find this reality confirmed in the fifteenth verse of the second chapter: “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress and to keep it” (Genesis 2:25).
Speaking along the lines of us creating a world in which others can enter and thrive along with us, we must turn and direct our attention to the eighteenth verse and beyond within the second chapter, for within the second chapter we find that not even man could exist in the world by himself. In fact, the Lord saw that it was not good for man to be alone, and so He saw fit to create and make for him a helpmate. Consider if you will the words and language that are found in the second chapter beginning with and from the eighteenth verse: “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:18-25). It’s worth noting that the Lord God saw that man was alone, and the Lord God said that it was not good that man should be alone, and therefore the Lord not only formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air and brought them unto Adam to name, but He also took one of Adam’s ribs and formed a woman which He brought unto him as a help meet for him. Thus, as early as the garden we see the reality of community and fellowship further expressed—not only between the triune Godhead, but also between and among man. In other words, when man was created, He was created first for fellowship with the true and living God, but he was created next for fellowship with others. CREATED FOR FELLOWSHIP AND RESPONSIBILITY! When reading the words of the Old Testament book of Genesis we find that the heavens and the earth were created in order that the triune Godhead could exist beyond themselves in fellowship, in community and relationship, and as a powerful demonstration of what is so desperately needed among us within our lives. I am convinced that just as it was not good for Adam to be alone, so also it is not good for us to be alone.
If you journey to the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ you will find the creation of a new heaven and a new earth where the triune Godhead would continue to exist beyond themselves and enjoy community and fellowship with mankind. Consider if you will the words which the apostle John wrote beginning with the first verse of the twenty-first chapter in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And He said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Revelation 21:1-7). Pay close attention to the reality and concept of community and fellowship that is found in this particular passage of Scripture, for even though there will be the creation of a new heaven and a new earth, it will be created in order to be and fulfill that which the first heaven and earth did not fulfill as a result of man’s transgression in the garden. Notice in the third verse how the Lord declared that the Tabernacle of God is with men, and He would dwell with them, and they would be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. Notice also in the seventh verse the Lord emphatically declares that he who overcomes would inherit all things, and the Lord would be his God, and he would be His son. Even in the creation of the new heaven and the new earth we find and discover that just as the first heaven and the first earth were created in order that the triune Godhead could exist beyond themselves, so also would the new heaven and the new earth be created for the same purpose. The entire purpose for the creation of the new heaven and the new earth was in order that that which the Father intended with the creation of the first heaven and the first earth could be fulfilled for all eternity. The first heaven and the first earth would pass away because of the transgression of man, and a new heaven and a new earth would be created to fulfill and bring about the perfect completion of what the first heaven and the first earth did not.
I have to admit that I have never seen this reality and concept of the creation of the heavens and the earth as being an expression of the triune Godhead existing beyond themselves until I came to the fifth chapter of the epistle which Paul wrote unto the Ephesians. What began with the apostle Paul instructing the saints to submit themselves one to another in the fear of the Lord would continue with the apostle Paul instructing wives to submit themselves unto their husbands, and husbands to love their wives even as Christ loved the church. Consider if you will the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the fifth chapter beginning with the twenty-second verse: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water b the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing: but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man every yet hated his own flesh; but nouristheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: for we are members of His body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband” (Ephesians 5:22-33). I am convinced that there is no greater demonstration and manifestation of living in a world that is beyond yourself than in marriage, for when you enter into the covenant of marriage your flesh is no longer your flesh, for your flesh is joined to another. What’s more, is that in marriage it Is no longer about yourself and how you can please yourself and fulfill your own needs, but how you can fulfill and satisfy the needs of each other. Marriage is that world which God created in which husbands and wives can give of themselves freely without holding anything back—a world in which they not only exist with each other, but also co-exist with each other. When you enter into the covenant of marriage you give up all rights to any independence, and you give up all rights to being concerned with yourself and with yourself alone, for your world was transformed from a world of one to a world of two. I am convinced that this is one of the main reasons why many marriages fail—because either the husband can’t move beyond the world of one, or the wife can’t move beyond the world of one.
IS YOUR WORLD TOO SMALL? DO YOU NEED TO EXPAND YOUR WORLD? IS THERE ENOUGH ROOM IN YOUR WORLD FOR MORE THAN ONE? I have to admit that up until today I have never seen the creation of the heavens and the earth—the creation of the world in which we live—as a demonstration and expression of living beyond oneself in fellowship, community, intimacy and relationship. We are all familiar with the phrase “it’s your world, we’re just living in it,” yet the question is whether or not our worlds are even big enough for others to live in it. Perhaps the single greatest question we must ask ourselves right now is whether or not the world in which we live in is too small. If the world in which you are living in is only big enough for you and there is no room for others, than the world you are living in is much too small. The question we must ask yourselves is whether or not we are willing to create a world in which relationships, friendships and community can even be formed. Just as the Lord formed Adam from the dust of the earth in order that He might have fellowship and community beyond and outside of Himself, so we must ask ourselves if we are willing to create a world in which relationships and friendships can be created just as Adam was. What’s more, is that even after Adam was created, the Lord still saw that it wasn’t enough, for the Lord saw that it was not good for man to be alone. It is true that the triune Godhead was in perfect unity and fellowship with itself, and the individual members of the Trinity were in perfect harmony with the others, but they saw fit—perhaps even a great need—to live and move beyond themselves in fellowship and community. Perhaps this is the single greatest reason why when men was created, he was created in the image and after the likeness of the triune Godhead, for the Lord did not want to exist within Himself. Even though the triune Godhead is the perfect example of unity, community and fellowship, the triune Godhead still saw fit to create a world beyond itself in which they could engage themselves in fellowship and community with others. Are you willing to create a world in which you can submit yourself to others in the fear of the Lord? Are you willing to create a world in which it is not only about you—a world in which others can exist and co-exist with you in harmony and unity? The problem isn’t that it’s our world, for the problem is that it’s our world, and it’s too small, and we are the only ones who are living in it. This is perhaps the single greatest truth surrounding the command to “be fruitful and multiply,” for the world was never meant to be inhabited by just one, or even just two in Adam and Eve. Are we willing to create a world in which relationships and friendships can exist? Are we willing to create a world in which we can truly be fruitful and multiply, and where that world can be occupied by others?
There is a great and terrible danger in a world that is only big enough for us, and there is absolutely no room for others. I do not say this to condemn or accuse you by any means, for I am the chief—not only of creating a world that is big enough only for me, but also being the only one to live in that world. Even in marriage it is possible to live in a world that is only big enough for you, and if you aren’t willing to expand your world to allow for the presence and company of others—even marriage itself can be cursed and doomed. There is a reason the apostle Paul instructed wives to submit themselves unto their husbands, and for husbands to love their wives, for only through submission and love can we truly exist in a world that might at one point have only been big enough for one, but now needs to be big enough for two. Throw in a child or children and your world becomes smaller in the sense that it is not just you anymore, and bigger in the sense that the Lord is increasing the population of that world. I know for a fact that my world is too small and that I need to be willing to expand through fellowship and relationship and friendship. In all reality, I am convinced that the only way this expansion can and will occur is when we readily submit ourselves one to another and learn to live beyond ourselves. In the popular children’s movie Aladan the famous song bore the line and phrase “a whole new world,” and in all reality, I am convinced that there are many of us who desperately need to open ourselves to a whole new world—one that is completely and totally beyond ourselves, and a world that is big enough for multiplication and increase to take place. This doesn’t mean that such increase and multiplication comes easily, for although the children of Israel multiplied and increased within the land of Egypt, it did so through and under oppression, slavery, bitterness, toil, bondage, and cruelty. The challenge we face today is possessing a willingness to open our world up to those who have been outsiders and outcasts in order that we might not only live in a world of one. In a world in which walls and borders are so prevalent and where nations and countries work diligently to protect their borders from outsiders infiltrating their land we as the sons and daughters of God should tear down all walls we have built, and all walls we have been building. It is time for us to live our lives with open borders and broken down walls in order that we might experience a world that exists beyond ourselves and includes those around us.