What is “The game”? Cuba explains: “I lie there and ask myself, ‘did I shake the right hands today?’ ‘Have I rubbed shoulders with the right people?’ ‘Have I made them like me enough?’” Call it Ambition, call it Networking, call it Influence, call it Politics. Slap any fancy name on it you want, but when all is said and done these names are merely synonyms of a common principle.
What is that principle? The movie calls it Dominion; the driving desire in the heart of man to be in control. To take what he wants. To be first. To win. It is this need for “Dominion”, the movie argues, that is the enemy of our peace. This striving to be master of our life, is the very thing that robs us of living.
As the credits of the movie were rolling on the big screen, I sat in the darkened theater and pondered the message I had just been given. I realized that there was something in this Hollywood production that tugged at my heart. A truth that hit the very essence of who I was as a person. I contemplated this concept of Dominion and why it had affected me like it did. Then I realized this is the very issue that Adam struggled with in the Garden of Eden.
When God created man, He gave him dominion over this world. The animals were his, the plants were his, the trees were his; the whole earth was God’s gift to man. He didn’t have to grasp for it. He didn’t have to compete for control. He didn’t have to fight for dominance. It was simply placed in his hands.
So what happened? He was deceived into reaching for the very thing he already had and in so doing, dominion slipped through his fingers. In striving to be master, he became a slave. What a paradox! In searching for what he already had, he lost it. He was created in the image of God. Genesis 1: 26 tells us that God made man like Himself, and yet it was the quest to be like God that robbed him of the very image of God he was.
Man trying to be God damned the whole human race. Isn’t it ironic then that God had to become man in order to save it. This is the very antithesis of what Adam did in the fall. It strikes at the heart of our sinful nature, but it captures the heart of our spiritual nature.
In Philippians 2:5-11, Paul admonishes, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Do you see the principle? The submission of God became the glory of God. The surrender of man became the salvation of man. In grasping for our life, we lost it. To get it back, we must let it go. Submission is the heartbeat of the Christian life. You want peace – submit to God. You want joy – submit to God. You want victory – submit to God. You want to make a mess of things – keep striving for control. Once you understand this principle, Christ’s statement in Matthew 16:25 makes perfect sense: “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”