We have been given the exciting task of working with God as He establishes His rule on Earth. But maybe this calling does not excite you. Maybe you have felt intimidated, frustrated or unsure if you are able to complete the task that God has set for you. Maybe you feel that God has actually set you up for failure just to keep you humble? I’ve been discouraged by these thoughts in the past but I came to a better understanding of God as He reveals himself in Genesis.
How does God want us to fulfil His plans on earth?
He BLESSES us! Yes the Creator God is also our Heavenly Father who wants us to succeed in what he has planned for us because He loves us and He receives glory from it. Consider the following:
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”(Genesis 1:27,28)
Before God gave mankind his purpose to fulfil, He blessed them so that they could fulfil that very purpose, “And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.’” (Genesis 9:1) Just as with Adam and Eve, God’s first conversation with Noah after the flood included God blessing him and then commanding him.
I think we could paraphrase and say, God blessed the man and the woman. He told them to love one another and become so many people that they would fill the whole earth. Through this his intention was to help everyone see how He works, how much He loves creation and that He created everything to work in a specific way – His way. The fact that He told them to do it meant that they would be able to do it because He would be with them.
Genesis 11 is the account of the Tower of Babel and it seems that the people forgot how God works. I’d like us to learn from them:
“And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.’ And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.’” Genesis 11:2-4
They settled out of fear instead of filling the earth by faith
God wants us to walk by faith and be led by His Spirit whenever and wherever he wants. If some of our core needs for security, safety and significance are not met in God, we settle, try to protect ourselves by building walls (in our hearts) and try and be successful according to the world’s standards.
They made their own bricks and bitumen instead of waiting upon God’s provision
Throughout the bible God insisted that His altars were always built with uncut stones. It signified that what we use to worship Him with is provided by Him. What we build for God should also be provided by God. Anything else is not pleasing to Him. Bricks signified man wanting to please God in his own time and in his own ways.
They made a name for themselves
Although they wanted to reach the heavens with the tower and call it ‘Tower of Babel’ (meaning ‘Gate of the gods’), they wanted to receive all the glory. The tower signified a kind of spirituality where man is elevated and ultimately worshipped, to be the centre of attention. It is a form of godliness without any power. They had a spectacular tower but no glory. Isn’t it ironic too that God still had to “come down” (Genesis 11:5) to see them “reach the heavens”.
God’s aim was that the kind of life He designed and destined us for should represent Him in a way, to reveal His love, humility and authority. This life could only be built upon the blessing of God and not by the bricks of man.
As those who have been apportioned to the apostolic field of Four12, let us:
• Never settle in comfort or because of fear but advance God’s kingdom as He leads us by the Spirit.
• Never build on the bricks of the latest man-made strategies and entertainment fads, use God’s ways and the right people (‘living stones’) for the job.
• Never be found wanting to elevate our name above Christ’s but go in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and make disciples of all nations for His glory and show the world that there is only one way – His way.
It is wonderful to see the restorations brought about in the early church as the saints united for God’s purposes. They trusted in the blessing of the Spirit. In this instance we see multiple languages given, but this time it resulted in multitudes born-again. This is how the New Testament church was birthed and God’s name was glorified.
Let’s continue in the Blessing of God and be the church of God!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ruan is the husband of Ina and father of 3 boys. He has been in vocational ministry since 2000 and has a passion to see every person find their place in the church Jesus Christ is building.
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