Speaker: Obinna Nwosu
Key Passage: Genesis 1:26;
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all[a] the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
God designed us for greatness by creating us in His own image and His likeness. God designed us to have His traits and attributes. God designed us to bear resemblance of Him much more in concept and much less in the physical as no one has ever seen God (Exodus 33:20) to tell what He looks like in the physical. Therefore, we look at His intentions for us and the instructions He gave us after creating us:
- Be Fruitful
- Subdue and have Dominion
Though traditionally interpreted literally, these should be construed beyond the physical, especially when viewed against the backdrop that other creatures of God that did not receive these instructions have also been fruitful and multiplied physically/literally. As part of His attributes, God is fully in charge of the universe as a whole (Revelation 4:11) and had created us to be in charge of any location in which we find ourselves in the earth by means of obedience to Him.
By obedience we lay the foundation to successfully execute those God-given instructions. In Genesis 2:8-9 and 15-17 we see how Adam and mankind lost control of things and were no longer in charge because of disobedience having been downgraded from tender to tiller and planter. The parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-23) shows how success rate declines very sharply if we live in disobedience. This is how people lose control and live at the mercy of the circumstances of their lives from disobeying God.
Obedience to God ensures that we stay in the garden but we still have to tend for the fruits to come forth and for us to eat them. How well we tend will determine how great we become. The extent of our tending determines our growth rate to greatness. A major part of tending is diligence/handwork (Proverbs 22:29). Diligence is what makes us fruitful (effective) and multiply (efficient).
A diligent person is
1 Fully committed to what he is doing
2 Very careful
3 Not distracted
All these habit and practices give rise to a tradition of thoughtfulness, creating a plan and placing faith in God (not in man) while executing the plan. In Genesis 30:37-41, Jacob thought hard about the deal he entered into with Laban, he came up with a Godly/clean plan on how to survive/exploit it and started executing it, placing his faith in God to crown it with success. For Christians, it is not necessarily the quality of the plan(for no plan is perfect) that guarantees success but the faith in God supporting a fairly good plan. Faith in God is very crucial as it makes you distinct from the pack of people out there who look up to man and are therefore trapped in maze of lip service, praise singing and politicking. Diligence confirms to God that you really care about your desire. I guess that’s probably what triggers Him to come to your rescue.
Even in ministry, we still need diligence to be great even after we have confirmed that God has called us and even when we are being used for signs and wonders. If Peter and the other apostles were not diligent, they would not have been able to notice that God moved more within them when they were devoted to “prayer and the ministry of the word’ (Acts 6:1-7). In Exodus 18;13-26, we see the diligence (thoughtfulness) of Jethro saved Moses from exhaustion.
Finally, after we obey God in all areas of our lives, exercise diligence, we have to pray (James 5:15-17). These are the infallible ingredients for greatness. If we do all these and we still do not become great, it would then be safe to conclude that we are going through a trial of faith which happens very occasionally to believers to build faith. Our best response would then be to continue doing the same things until the trial period is over and followed with a grand promotion.