Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Helping God with Creation
for architects and craftsmen to build a universe out of
nothing. No experience required. Contact God.
Wouldn’t it be great to tell your friends and brag to your grandchildren, “I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he . . . gave the sea its boundary . . . , and when he marked out the foundations of the earth. I was the craftsman at his side . . . rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.”
Of course, those verses in Proverbs 8 do not refer to you and me, but what if we could have assisted God in his work of creation?
Imagine watching God place the stars in the night sky and saying, “Lord, could you put a bright one right about there . . . no, a little to the left. Perfect! From here it looks like a big dipper in the sky.” Or, imagine chiseling some of the smaller details in the Grand Canyon with your own hands or designing the thorns for the rose bush.
Maybe you would have advised him to give Adam two ears and one mouth, so people would listen twice as much as they talk. What if you had asked God to skip the mosquitoes right from the start? In this idea he overruled you, but he did include your suggestion to put some mountains in Antarctica, even though people wouldn’t live there.
Of course, God did not ask for our help in creating the physical universe. We came along much later. But (wonder of wonders) he does ask for our help in the New Creation. Human sin has spoiled God’s “very good” work of creation and brought God’s curse of death and futility, resulting in decay, weeds, sweat, and pain. Now, as followers of Jesus empowered by the Holy Spirit, we work alongside God in the remaking of human beings and the rest of creation for eternity.
Our involvement in the new creation is not optional, only for a few super-spiritual saints, but required for all of us. Romans 8:9-18 spells this out: “If the Spirit of God lives in you . . . if Christ is in you . . . [you] have an obligation . . . . If by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” Many Scriptures in the New Testament tell us what our part is in remaking our own lives and in assisting others in their transformation.
We know that the essential work of New Creation was completed by Jesus Christ when he died and rose again. The cross set in motion the inevitable results of removing sin and its effects from creation, bringing to completion the transitional unfolding of God’s plans, and consummating the ultimate purpose of creation—God living with his people.
We are commanded, however, to partner with God in four aspects of the New Creation: The New You (sanctification); The New Community (influence); The New Humanity (evangelism); The New Earth (kingdom). Let’s get started, and learn as we go.