Lately I’ve been signing a lot of permission forms. With school comes excursions, school photos, subject changes, extra-curricular activities, camps…all of which need the authority of a parent’s permission.
I’m glad that, though my youngest children are in high school, they’re still young enough that I get to sign things for them, yet this time is quickly coming to an end. I hope that, as the time comes for them to have to sign things for themselves, they will have learned what they need in order to be responsible, kind and considerate adults who make wise decisions.
At that point, they will have their own authority to do things, authority that comes with having lived their first eighteen years learning right from wrong, learning what’s wise and what’s not, and to know it in their hearts.
Tried and tested
I once heard a great example in a sermon and I wish I could remember who said it, but I can’t so if you happen to be reading this, forgive me for not crediting you. But the example was of the rigorous testing that a mobile phone manufacturer puts their product through before putting their branding on it. Once the phone has been tested to withstand the test of time, elements, and other trials, if it has endured and still works, then the manufacturer will seal it with their brand name. It is ready to represent the company.
Haggai chapter two tells of the trials the Jewish people had gone through to rebuild after their return from exile. When they turned their hearts to rebuild the house of God, He encouraged them to be strong and warned that He was going to shake the heavens and the earth. The Jews had been through so much testing, some had seen the house of God in its former glory before they had been sent into exile and now it looked like nothing.
There was, however, a greater glory coming, and God had marked His promise by anointing Zerubbabel as God’s signet ring—His earthly representation.
‘“On that day,” declares the LORD Almighty, “I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,” declares the LORD, “and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,” declares the LORD Almighty.’
Through Zerubbabel’s line would come Jesus, the Saviour of the world, and the peace and freedom he would bring would be unlike anything that had ever existed before him—freedom from sin, healing, daily help, joy, peace, and eternal life to all who believe.
When we align our hearts with God’s heart and allow God to work His purpose through our lives and become people who represent Him well, then we become like His signet ring. In Matthew chapter 16 verse 19, Jesus says to Peter:
“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
To bind something, means to restrain it and secure it as with a rope. To loose something means to release or set something free which has been bound. With the keys of the kingdom of heaven, through Jesus’ power we can tie up that which steals and destroys, and release that which restores and gives life—life in all its fulness.
It is not enough to float through life and just take things as they come when we have been given the keys to the kingdom to be vessels for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. We need to wake from our slumber and make a difference to the lives of those around us through prayer, faith, and action.
To know God and to do His will on earth as it is in heaven, we need to study His Word, listen for His voice, know His ways, and obey His calling. The effects will begin like a little stream and grow into a flowing river as we trust Him and allow His power to work in and through our lives. When we work with God, we can ‘sign on his behalf’ through the power of the Holy Spirit and be world changers for the benefit of us all.
And if you ever forget the power that is at work within us, remember this:
‘You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John chapter 4 verse 4)
As published on Christian Today Australia, June 2021
©Rebecca Moore 2021