Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” (Gen 1:1) and He breathed life into all living things. He then said, “Let us make mankind in our image . . . so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground” (Gen 1:26). He told Adam and Eve, gave them orders that carried to all their descendants, to fill the earth and subdue it (Gen 1:28).
God placed humanity, from the beginning, in this world with the intended mission to rule this world as His representatives of His Spirit and character. We performed pretty well for the first little bit when humanity numbered a grand total of two persons. Then the serpent rebelled against God’s plan for Creation. He slithered his way to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and Eve succumbed to his lies. She ate the Forbidden Fruit and gave some to her husband. In that instant, Creation fell, we fell, and our job as stewards of our home grew exponentially more grueling.
God told our Patriarch and Matriarch “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you . . . 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return” (Gen 3:17-19). Originally the plan God had in place for his highest creations held the certainty of eternal life in His presence, with no pain, suffering, or death. We were originally ordained to rule at God’s side over all Creation, and we could communicate with God like we talk with any other person. It would have been the perfect existence. We forfeited our gift and promise of eternal companionship alongside our Lord when Adam and Eve ate the fruit. They broke the one rule that God commanded them to follow, do not eat the fruit off that one tree.
Our job as God’s highest and most treasured creations to be stewards and rulers of this world still stands, but as fallen creatures we cannot meet the standard God set thousands of years ago in the beginning. We must take care of and rule the world with love and gentleness as God commands us to, but so far, we are failing miserably.
Our power plants expel cloud-like geysers of poisonous fumes into the atmosphere. Mining and lumber operations places across the globe leave scars visible from the upper reaches of our atmosphere and the vacuum of space. We burn fossil fuels, cut down trees, deplete our fish stocks, and hunt animals to near extinction. As stewards of this world, God’s presence on this fallen world in a very real sense, improvement is imperative.
The improvement in question will not happen overnight. The road is long and twisted by human greed and selfishness, rising and falling with the mood of the times, littered with potholes and obstacles of economic and spiritual hurdles that require resolution, not just a quick ‘hop over’.
Great damage has been done, indeed some is irreversible, but if we act now, we can be the generation that really starts to live out our lives as God’s Stewards. We can be the rulers, kings and queens of this world, under the King of Kings. God told our father Adam and mother Eve in Genesis 1:28, “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.” That is our command; that which He has placed upon His children.
Changing the way we rule this world starts with a change in our hearts that overflows to society. We must be radical believers and preachers of Jesus Christ to the world, and live our lives as shining examples. We must become “the light of the world. A town built on a hill [that] cannot be hidden” (Matt 5:14, insertion mine).
Once we have established our role as the new generation in Christ who will take care of the home God has given us, we can really begin reconstruction and damage repair. The task ahead is enormous, literally a planet-wide issue. We will have to transform the planet in a very real sense, except we will nurture Earth back to a near wholeness. Only with complete cooperation and God’s help can we bring Earth and God’s Children, not just Christians, back together.
No one really has all the answers yet as to the exact steps needed to heal and restore our planet except God. All I ask is that we would pray and seek God in all things, that this generation would rise up to the call of Stewardship, and that we may shine to all the world and bring humanity back to the role of Earth-lovers, not planet-destroyers.
I leave you with this: “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer 29:11)
Peace and blessings,
Michal Stephen Ryan Biggerstaff
Michal Biggerstaff (20) is a longtime staff writer and speaker at Changing Lives Ministry.