Speaker: Pastor Don Woke
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. GENESIS 1:1-5
The picture of the earth that we find in Genesis chapter one is not very pleasant. “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.” No one knows for sure what brought the earth to this sorry state of desolation, but it was out of this mess that God brought forth the beautiful creation that we find at the end.
We are at the beginning of a new year. The state of many lives at this time is not different from what is described in our text. There is neither form nor shape to their lives, all they see is emptiness: empty life, empty bank account, empty storehouse, empty relationships, empty plans etc. As they look at the future, it is all dark. Darkness is not only a symbol of evil but also of hopelessness and confusion. They are intuitively asking: What will become of my life, family, business or even the nation especially in an election year?
God, right at the dawn of time showed Himself as the architect of transformation. Transformation literarily means change. Dictionary.com defines it as “change in form, appearance, nature or character.” Transformation happens when God initiates a process that brings about change in a person or society. So it implies divine intervention. Here in Genesis we see God intervene to bring order out of chaos; fullness out of emptiness.
MOVING OF THE SPIRIT
The first thing we observe is that “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” The Hebrew word for this action is rȃchaph which means “to brood over; to incubate” (New English Translation Premium NETP). It is similar to a Greek word used in a similar sense in the New Testament, episkiazo translated ‘overshadow.’ “And the angel answered and said to her, ” The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35 (Emphasis mine). What these Scriptures emphasize is that the Holy Spirit is “the creative arm of the Godhead,” He is the transforming Agent.
Whenever God wants any creative action He sends forth the Spirit: “You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; and You renew the face of the earth.” Psalm 104:30. “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4. So, when the Spirit was moving upon the deep He was preparing the ground for transformation. In the same way, God’s Spirit is going to move upon your life this year, but you must allow Him.
THE CREATIVE WORD
Ten times in Genesis chapter one we read “And God said…” As the Spirit continued to move, God began to speak. The word of God is another major agent of transformation. Indeed, in Scriptures we observe that these two are the instruments of divine transformation. This is well illustrated from the following Scripture: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18. Note that the ‘mirror’ is a symbol for the word of God (James 1:22-25).
If you must experience transformation this year then you must develop the discipline of listening to the voice of God, His voice is in His word. You need to read it, hear it and meditate upon it. God spoke every day in creation. He still does. “But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. ‘””
It is instructive that God was not speaking what He saw around but what He desired to be. He did not speak what He saw, no wonder He saw what He spoke. Often, we are tempted to speak the negative things we see around us, to amplify the pessimism that is dished out by secular media. If you will experience transformation this year then you must be circumspect with your words. Speak the word of God, declare only what you desire to see happen in your life.
The next thing we observe in the process is that God began to cause separation. “God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.” Genesis 1:4 (NIV). God separated light from darkness; sky from water below; dry land from the sea waters. It could be that one of the reasons for the formlessness was because things were muddled up so now in transforming, there was a need for separation.
In your life too God may demand separation from self-destructive habits; ungodly lifestyles; toxic relationships etc. We will need to separate from anything or anyone that reinforces disorder in our lives. “Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”” 2 Corinthians 6:17-18.
The other aspect of separation is that though darkness was not totally eliminated (there was still night), the darkness could not overcome the light. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” John 1:5. Some of the predictions that have been made concerning 2015 may well happen, but God will make a difference with His own people. In the land of Egypt there was darkness everywhere but in Goshen, where God’s people were, there was light. “So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. 23 They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” Exodus 10:22-23. In fact, there is a promise to that effect: “Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1-2.
Also, where formerly there was emptiness God began to fill up with things. He filled the land with vegetation; the sky with luminaries; the sea with living creatures; the land with birds and mammals. He went further to bless them. God will also fill the void in your life.
As each day’s work came to an end, God looked over what He had made and saw that it was good – just as He wanted it. This is not surprising, what can one expect from a good God? “You are good, and do good…” Psalm 119:68. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17. What this says to us is that whatever God is working in our lives this year, the outcome will be good.
But it did not end there. When God had accomplished the work of transformation, He looked over what He had done and this was His verdict: “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31.
I am convinced that God is giving someone a sneak preview of what his or her life will be by the end of 2015. You may be starting out today from ground zero, no problem, just allow God to accomplish the work of transformation in your life. When God began creation, it did not seem good but by the time He had finished, everything looked beautiful. God declared that it was very good. Let us believe too that when it is all over this year, people will see your life, family, business and confess that it is very good.