So I have started a little project where I read a chapter of the Bible (Genesis to Revelation) every day. Talk about long-term projects 😂. The idea to read the whole Bible has been on my heart for a while and I am glad I have started and I am interested to see what God teaches me and how He changes me through this. Anyways, Today was day 1 and I have already posted about part 1 of my insights from Genesis 1. This is part 2 of insights from Genesis 1. Let’s dive in.
Part 1 focused on God’s creative power and what that means for us in terms of what He can create in our lives. For Part 2, I want to highlight 2 things:
1) God does not do everything in one day.
The creation story spanned 7 days. As I read the chapter, I realized that this is how God acts with us. With some of our prayers, the answers do not come instantaneously. He answers gradually. So you say “Lord, please, I want to be wealthy.” The money does not just come. He may open certain doors to get you into school, put a certain degree or career on your heart, open certain job opportunities for you, put certain business ideas on your heart or cause you to meet people who expose you to certain opportunities. 5-10 years down the line, when you are ballin’, you look back and realize the little sign posts (the school, the degree, the people) were all answers to that prayer, gradually moving you towards the end goal. This characteristic of God as One who works over time is also seen with us as children of God. Our transformation into looking like Him comes gradually ( 2 Corinthians 3:18). He says that the path of the righteous is like the dawn, shining ever brighter until the full light of day (Proverbs 4:18). Gradual. Though the vision may tarry, it will surely come to pass (Habakkuk 2:3). Trust Him. For more on time, trust and rewards, read point 3 in the blog post on trust and rewards.
2) The idea of fruitfulness
Throughout the creation story, fruitfulness seems to be something that is important to God. He commands it of the plants (Genesis 1:11-12) , of the animals (Genesis 1: 20-23) and of man (Genesis 1:28). Fruitfulness is their one assignment (with the exception of man who is also commanded to rule over earth). When we go into the new testament, we see Jesus talk a lot about fruit. He tells us we will be able to know the people of God by the fruit they produce and talks about how every tree that does not bear good fruit will be struck down and burned ( Matthew 7: 16-20). He also talks about what happens if we do not bear fruit (John 15). We see the importance of fruitfulness in the parable of the talents when the master punishes the servant who does not multiply what is handed to him and one may even argue that the story of the ten virgins shows what happens when you do not bother to source out more than you have (the 5 foolish virgins missed the bridegroom because they dd not bother to get extra oil and their lamps died out) (Matthew 25).
So you want to know what God wants you to do? He wants you to multiply what He has given you. Bear fruit. Bear fruit in your walk with God – walk in obedience to the Word you have given and work with the Holy Spirit who has been sent to you so you bear the fruit of the Spirit. Bear fruit with your talents – do something with the skills and gifts you have been given to support the kingdom of God and better the world. Do something with what you have (for more on this, see the blog post on small beginnings).
Note that with fruitfulness, God asks the plants, animals and man to produce according to their own kind (Genesis 1: 28) . God did not expect snakes to produce horses or apple trees to produce strawberries. This takes us to the new testament when Paul asks each of us to use our gifts to do our part for the Kingdom (Romans 12: 6-8, 1 Corinthians 12). If it is teaching then teach. God does not hold the teacher accountable for prophesying. He expects the teacher to produce teaching and the prophet to prophesy. If your skill is helping people, do your best with that. Ask yourself and God, “how can I multiply this and do more with this?”
This lesson on fruitfulness reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Shine folks. You shining has the unintended multiplier effect of encouraging others to do the same.
Be fruitful. Make more. Want more. Be more.