How can we utilize the amazing fact of our God-given dominion, which the Bible says God has given us (see Genesis 1:26)? It may seem an impossible thing to demonstrate in our lives. Many things confront us that are not good and that appear to have control over us—ill health, perhaps; disagreements with family or friends that leave us angry or upset; loss of employment. Any number of circumstances might try to deprive us of the dominion given to us by our omnipotent, loving Father-Mother God. Probably everyone would like to understand and prove their God-given dominion, but how can that be done under difficult circumstances?
Christ Jesus’ example is a very good starting point, because Jesus understood and demonstrated dominion and showed how we can do the same. In Christian Science it is understood that Jesus was expressing Christ, his spiritual identity as the Son of God, “the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error” (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 583). In revealing the eternal Christ, Jesus demonstrated his own God-given dominion by rebuking and destroying whatever was unlike the wonderful, loving nature of our Father-Mother God. Jesus said that he could do nothing of himself but that he was reflecting the will and power of God, divine Love, in his mission to heal and save mankind (see John 5:30).
Jesus clearly understood that God made all that really exists, that God is all good, and that there is no other real power. Jesus demonstrated that the ills of the flesh were not a power, were not realities sent by God, but were the results of false, material beliefs about God and His creation; and that these false beliefs could be corrected in consciousness with divine Truth, and thus proved to be untrue.
As we come to understand more clearly that God is Love and all good, and never causes suffering, we need not fear illness and do not have to submit to anything that would keep us from expressing our dominion. In First John 4:18 we read, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.” If something seems to threaten our well-being, we can know that it really cannot harm us, because there is no power in anything that is without the perfect love of God behind it. Divine Love being infinite and ever present, there is actually no place for fear to exist. Knowing this gives us the confidence to face up to anything that would cause us distress, and it enables us to prove for ourselves the practical truth of God’s love for us.
Learning more about God as our loving Father-Mother, and prayerfully listening to divine Mind for the spiritual thoughts that Mind is always imparting to us, we are learning that we can wholeheartedly trust in God to take care of us. This complete trust in our heavenly Father-Mother brings to light in our experience the spiritual law of Love, which operates to destroy what the material senses claim to be real.
When this mental adjustment comes in our thought—when we yield to the spiritual reality with confidence and apply spiritual truth to whatever difficulty may confront us—healing comes naturally. At times, we may need to be firm and persistent in our declaration of the spiritual facts until Truth is made manifest in the desired effect. But this is how we can successfully exercise our God-given dominion. In so doing we discover that the difficulty that challenged us was never a reality because it was not of God, who is all good. This discovery might feel like switching on a light in a dark room: The darkness naturally disappears, and we see things as they really are. Yielding completely to God in prayer, we let Him reveal to us the harmonious spiritual reality that is always present.
One Wednesday, while I was attending a weekly testimony meeting at my branch Church of Christ, Scientist, I was suddenly gripped with an intense stomach pain. The thought came to me that I should leave the meeting immediately. But then another thought came quickly: that I had God-given dominion over the material condition, and that I didn’t have to listen to the suggestion that there was a power opposed to God. I knew that the stomach pain was not from God, and therefore it had no real power to exert itself. It had no authority to prevent me from remaining in church and giving the testimony I had come prepared to give at that meeting.
I had a choice to make: either I could acknowledge the material claim as a reality and therefore as having power to remove me from the testimony meeting, or I could refuse to listen to or be dominated by matter’s claim; I could deny it room in my consciousness because it was unreal and was not the fact about me as God’s image and likeness. We read in Science and Health, “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts” (p. 261).
I determined that I would turn my thought completely away from the pain my body was claiming and instead give my full attention to listening to the readings from the Bible and Science and Health that were being read aloud at that testimony meeting. I knew that those readings contained healing truths. After a short time, the pain disappeared. I was completely free and able to share my intended testimony. This healing illustrated to me that the pain had not been a real thing in my body, but was just an imposition suggesting itself to my consciousness. Therefore it had no real power to afflict me, and I was able to demonstrate my dominion over it.
God has not withdrawn Himself from us and left us alone to cope with difficulties. After all, God fills all space. With the understanding that God is always with us, and by utilizing the spiritual method of healing revealed by Christ Jesus and explained in Science and Health, we can demonstrate our dominion—and find freedom.
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