Invasion of Light

Discovering God's Glory One Day at a Time

Category: Genesis 1:24-31

God’s First Words to Man – Day 157

“Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen. 1:28, NKJV)

God’s first words to man are not a curse; they have no innuendo of condescension or condemnation. They are words of life. They are words of blessing. They empower and give authority.

In these words we get a glimpse of God’s heart for man. God gives man a “hope and a future.” He is for man and not against him. God’s heart toward man is a heart of love. He wants to give us more than we are able to receive. His attitude toward us is that of abundant blessing.

In the above verse we learn what is the nature of God’s blessing. Just as God said “Light Be!” and it was so, God says to man “Be fruitful and multiply.” God’s blessing is his word of empowering life. When God blesses he gives authority where there was no authority and grace where there was an absence of grace. God’s blessing imparts to us something that is in God and only in God. God’s blessing means we receive by grace and not by works. Clearly we do not have to earn God’s grace––it is given to us. Without these gracious words man remains a golem. And why has he blessed us and given us this extraordinary grace? It is not merely for our own benefit, it is so we can be a blessing to all of creation.

Prayer: Father, I receive your blessing today. I take hold of your life empowering words. Let me see that you are for me and not against me. May I have your perspective on the human race. And may I be blessed to be a blessing, in Jesus’ name.

Solving Family Conflict – Day 156

As we live in covenant relationship our families reflect the testimony of God. But when there is warring and tension there is a lack of God’s joy emanating from us. Through family we learn that the only way to be tuned to each other is if we are in tune with the same source. When an orchestra is tuned to a tuning fork all the instruments are in tune with each other.

There is all sorts of tensions in family. Who is right? Who is wrong? In an orchestra we may ask, “who is in-tune and who is out of tune?” The violin may argue with the trombone and the piano may fight with the oboe. But the tuning fork gives the perfect pitch for all these instruments to become one with it. And as everything is in tune with the tuning fork every instrument will be in tune with each other. It is fruitless for us to argue who is right, whether it’s male or female. Instead when we are tuned with God’s keynote we will be in harmony with one another. The male and female relationship points to our need for the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Walking in harmony with God eventually solves our conflicts with each other. But it takes humility for each family member to bow to God as Lord and cast away all our petty opinions, wants and desires.

Prayer: Father, may I be in tune with you. May I walk in harmony with your Son. Right now, I sumbit to your Lordship and lay at your feet my petty opinions, wants and desires. May all my family walk in oneness with you. If we do, we know that we will be unified with one another, in Jesus’ name.

The Tension Between Male and Female – Day 155

Without marriage and covenant, the image of God in human beings collapse. A person is only fully whole when he or she has the input of both a father and mother. In the same way, the church is not a true testimony to God unless both males and females are active in life-giving relationship together. To silence the female is to silence God. On the other hand, a predominantly female church in which the males have more “manly” things to do also falls short of God’s glory. Male and female in relationship, covenant, marriage and mutual respect, reveals God’s reality.

Yet there is a catch. For male and female to dwell together in harmony is almost impossible. Each sex is wired different with unique desires, aspirations and perspectives. The tension between male and female have been experienced throughout history. Is there any solution?

The world has proposed that through learning one another’s differences and practicing communication (as well as getting counselling!) we can live in harmony. But is this the full story? Never before has there been so much marriage counselling and never before has there been so much divorce. Though the world’s proposals may have some validity, marriage is bound to fail, or at least be incomplete, without the cross. It is only the death and resurrection of Christ that can make us one. It is only as we die to ourselves with Christ and participate in the Spirit’s resurrection life that we can live in community. God has given us a daily witness of community through the family. Our communities and churches cannot dwell together in unity without the death of the male as well as the female preferences.

It is through marriage that we learn to live in covenant and it is impossible to live in covenant without Christ and the cross. In covenant we die daily. Family life is meant to be a reflection on the eternal Family of God. It is a relationship of giving and receiving, serving and sacrificing, enjoying and celebrating. It is a relationship that requires us to be like the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. At times we are giving, at other times we are receiving and sometimes we are aiding. Sometimes we sacrifice, at other times we are sacrificed, and still at times we are doing both.

Prayer: Father, help me to live in covenant relationship with you and my spouse. Help me to die to myself so that you can live through me, in Jesus’ name.

Do Males Have a Monopoly on God? – Day 154

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created him” (Gen. 1:27, NIV). In this verse we see something more about being created in the image of God. We learn that males do not have a monopoly on God’s image, neither do females. Rather only male and female together, in covenant relationship, manifest God’s image.

This has great implications for society and community. The male dominated society is not a true reflection of God’s likeness. But on the other hand, feminism falls short too. Only the humility of both male and female dwelling together in sacrificial love reveals God’s heart.

Based on the above verse the Rabbis taught (and still do teach) that man is incomplete without woman. Only in marriage is a male complete. Though much rabbinic teaching is male-oriented, the Rabbis were definitely going in the right direction with this line of thought. Malehood alone does not mean completeness.

The age-old question is whether God is male or female. The Bible refers to God almost exclusively with male-terminology. However, feminists have argued that this is chauvinistic and that our view of God should be the divine mother. There has even been discussion about changing the Lord’s Prayer to “Our Father and Mother.” How do we respond to this?

God is neither male nor female. As God he is above sexual orientation: he is the creator of the sexes. So then why do we use the pronoun “he” to describe God? It is because that is the Biblical example. Why does the Bible put emphasis on God as a Father rather than a Mother? The answer to this question is complex, but most importantly we need to see that the image of God does not just contain male qualities but what we would also consider female qualities. In Scripture God is compared to a woman in motherly compassion. Even wisdom is referred to in the feminine form.

The image of God can only be reflected in both male and female together as one.

Diffusing Eden’s Fragrance – Day 153

Once we understand the Holy Spirit, and how he restores us to intimacy with the Father through the Son, our lives will be revolutionized. Through the Holy Spirit we receive every blessing the Father has for us––we receive the very nature of the Father and Son. Through the Holy Spirit we are also liberated from fear because we are brought into God’s eternal love. Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the Holy Spirit, we receive new life from the Spirit and are raised up with Christ to sit with him in the heavenly realms. The Holy Spirit makes us one with God and allows us to participate in God’s benevolent rule over earth.

When Christ rose from the dead he declared to his disciples: “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21).  He then breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit…” We are instantly reminded of man’s creation in the garden when God breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breathe of life and he became a living soul. I believe it was God’s breath that enabled man to be made in the image and likeness of God. It was out of this experience with the Spirit that man was sent to fill the earth and subdue it. It is the Spirit that empowers us to be sent out, to be in intimate knowledge with God and spread the fragrance of Christ everywhere we go. The Spirit enables us to bring the fragrance of Eden out into all creation. The Spirit is God’s own living breath given to the Son. And it is given to us because we are in the Son. Without the Spirit we cannot be sent and we shouldn’t go. Therefore we must continually cry, “Come, Holy Spirit!”

Prayer: Father, breathe on me your Spirit and let me diffuse the fragrance of heaven wherever I go today, in Jesus’ name.

The Most Intimate Place in the World – Day 152

When we read the words “image” and “likeness” we should be reminded of Jesus Christ himself. The New Testament teaches that he is the very image and likeness of God. “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation…For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him” (Col. 1:15, 19). In these verses, as well as others, there is a definite connection between being in the “image” of God and being God’s “Son.” Therefore we can deduce that in the beginning God made human beings to be his sons and daughters. He made us to be one with the eternal Son. This is a place of full acceptance, affinity and affection. This image was marred when we fell, but it was restored to us through the Son. God has again lifted us up into oneness with himself.

This is why the apostle Paul was adamant about salvation being in Christ. We are saved because we have been brought back into the Father’s image through the Son. There is no other salvation outside of that image. All the love the Father has for the Son is ours because we are in Christ. To say we are “in Christ” means we are in a position of intimacy with God. Moreover, we are in the Father’s eternal life––Jesus. We are in the very revelation of the Father himself. Nothing is held back from us, all is ours in Christ.

It is by the Spirit that we are brought into this dynamic relationship. Without the Spirit we are dead because the Spirit is the life of the Father and Son’s love. If we do not have the Spirit we do not have Christ because Christ as Son is the eternal recipient of the Spirit. The Spirit is like the woman who searched for the lost coin. We were that lost treasure and when the Spirit found us he brought us back into our original home: the Son who is the house of God, the eternal dwelling of the fullness of the Father. Because of the Holy Spirit we are not orphans; we are sons and daughters of the Father (John 14:18). The Spirit enables us to call the Father, “Our Father.” The very same relationship that Jesus has with his Father we have because of the Holy Spirit and Christ’s blood (Eph. 2:16-18).

Prayer: Father, I thank you because when I was born again I was made again into your image and likeness. I have been created to be in the most intimate place in the world––in Jesus. Through Jesus I am a son/daughter of God. And through Jesus I have been given the Holy Spirit. Nothing has been held back from me. Let me see and walk in that truth today, in Jesus’ name.

You Were Created for Intimacy – Day 151

Being created in the image of God means we were made in the image of community. Furthermore, we all have the capacity for intimate fellowship with God. Every creature made has some relationship with God, but human beings have access to the ultimate relationship with God. Because we have been created in God’s image we can be enveloped in the triune fellowship of God himself. We have the ability to know and understand God. God is not unknowable to us; we can know him. The beasts of the fields may be blessed by God’s presence, but only we can have unprecedented communion with God.

I cannot fully understand the birds of the air because I am not like them. The ants communicate, but their communication is a mystery to me, I am only an outsider looking in. But with God I am no outsider. I am created in his image and likeness. I can know his thoughts and emotions. I can know his ways and his plans. I can know his language. I have been created to sit with him in the heavenly realms. It is only because we are made in the image and likeness of God that we are called to rule over God’s creation. If we are not intimate with God then our rule is the reign of a usurper. This rule is only the privilege of those in fellowship with God.

To be made in the image and likeness of God means we are partakers in God’s eternal life. Eternal life is not first and foremost about longevity (that is, living forever). It is about being in the eternal exchange of God’s fellowship. The Father communicates life to the Son by the Spirit and the Son communicates life to the Father by the same Spirit. Because we have been made in the image of God we are in the centre of this divine exchange of life. Therefore being created in God’s image is completely the grace, mercy and favour of God. Who can ask for anything more? Since this is how we were created our hearts are restless until they find rest in God alone.

Prayer: God, let we walk in intimacy with you today. Let me have that deep fellowship with you that I was created for, in Jesus’ name.

 

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