So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Genesis 1:27-31
The creation story paints for us an amazing picture of a people created for whole, meaningful and loving relationships in four spheres.
This text from Genesis is a beautiful example of all four levels of relationship for which we were created. Can you identify them? Begin by considering that God desired to create a creature that would bear his image in a way that was unique from all the other creatures of the earth. The first level of relationship was established in God’s loving creation of humanity. By bearing God’s image we were given the unique responsibility to fill the earth as a continuation of God’s creative work, and to rule over it in the same loving, nurturing way that God rules over us. We bear God’s image when we live into our relationship with him and carry out the work he created us to do. These are the first two spheres of relationship in which we were created. The first is a loving, intimate relationship with God our Creator. The second is our relationship with our self – fully understanding who we are, why we were created, and what our vocation is on this earth.
Can you find the third and the fourth? The third sphere of relationship has to do with our caring for one another. God immediately put Adam and Eve together with the command that they be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. We bear God’s image as male and female and we carry out his command by living in community, having fellowship with our neighbor and maintaining fidelity in our marriage. The fourth, and not least relationship is the one we have with the creation itself. We were created to rule lovingly, to tend the garden and to subdue the earth in the same way that our Creator loves, cares for and subdues us.
These four relationships comprise the sum total of the purpose for which we were created. It’s really a beautiful scene. Living in an intimate relationship with God, at peace with ourselves, lovingly serving our neighbor, and tending God’s beautiful creation.
How does your life reflect wholeness of relationship in all four of these spheres?
Do you see yourself as having been created for all four of these areas of relationship? Do you take some more seriously than others? The enemy will seek to attack us in our area of weakness. Take a moment to consider which, for you, is the sphere in which you struggle the most. Write it down and follow it with a 1-2 sentence commitment you will make today to come against whatever is keeping you from experiencing fullness and joy in this sphere.
Lord, you are amazing! You created me in such an incredible way. I want to know and experience the fullness and richness of life in all four of these spheres. I want everything you have created for me. However, I confess that I fall so short of this abundant life. I have written down the sphere of relationship where I struggle the most. You are fully aware of my struggles here. So now is the time to lay this before you and submit it fully to you. I am tired of struggling with these relationships and my only way out is through you. I give it all back to you. Heal me, change me, encourage me and empower me to live as your child in all four spheres. I know you want me to have life, and have it abundantly. I yield myself to you to work in me what is necessary for me to have that life. Take all of me, Lord. Everything in my life in every sphere – it is yours, I am yours, fully, completely and eternally. In Jesus’ name, Amen.