Why Am I Here?

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We have arrived at the Grand Climax, the Summum Bonum, which is the final course of our “Theology for Dummies” seminary training—“Why Am I Here?

Our foundational Bible passage for all our seminary courses has been Genesis 1:26-28: 

“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 the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth (vs.26)

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them (vs. 27)

“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” (vs. 28). 

 The first aspect of man’s three-fold purpose in these verses is to “Reflect God’s Image” (vs. 26). This is achieved only through an understanding of the first three biblical courses we have presented in these postings: 1.) “What is God Like? “(absolutely sovereign), 2.) What am l Like?” (absolutely sinful), 3.) “How does God Relate to Me?” (absolutely by grace alone).

In taking these courses, it was easy to see that God is an absolute God; He does not deal with “shades of gray.” He does not deal in “almost,” or “most of the time,” or “generally.” He does exactly what, precisely when, He pleases. Job 42:2; Psalm 115:3, 135:6: Isaiah 45:6, 7, 46:10, 11; Daniel 4:35 all attest to that fact. He alone is GOD!

So, we are now equipped to “Reflect God’s Image.”  How do we Rule Over the Earth” (vs. 26), and “Reproduce and Fill the Earth with Offspring” (vs. 27, 28)? We do so only together with the assistance of our helpers, our wives (Genesis 2:18), in both instances.  We both are called to Reflect, Rule and Reproduce on the earth in this life, each supplying what the other naturally lacks.

It is important to note that a man does not rule “over” his wife. Notice in Genesis 1:26, 28 man is said to rule (conserve and protect) the earth itself, and everything that lives, moves, or even “creeps” upon it, but not other humans, including his female “helpers.” That is because they were specifically created to help men rule, not to be ruled over.

But, if I am not to rule over other humans, what does “rule” even mean, practically, on a daily basis? It was not until I was in my 60s that I finally began to recognize the obvious importance of knowing why I was created by God in the first place! Looking back I can see that God was teaching me something of which I was completely ignorant. He did so in a most unusual way.

Jill and I, along with about 15 families from our church in Seattle, had moved to a small town in Eastern Washington to plant a new church. I had been a public school teacher years earlier, so I thought, as a much-needed means of income, I would be a substitute teacher at my new location. So, I jumped through the required hoops to do so.

After about three shocking days in the classroom, what I discovered caused me to quit in disgust. The lack of interest in learning, rebellion, and outright ridicule of me by the students was nothing like the public schools I had taught in 20 years earlier. The classroom had become a war zone.

However, I returned to substitute teaching again in my 70s and taught until I was 80, in a totally different situation. The kids (generally middle-school and high-school) were the same, if not worse! It was I who had changed. 

God had enrolled me in “Theology for Dummies,” during that 12 year period away. I began to learn the ideas we discuss in these blog postings. Ruling over the earth became, for me, ruling in my own small world, the classroom! I knew I was bringing Jesus’ into that classroom—Jesus, living His life through me, each day bringing His law, His love and His discipline to those students. Yes, I brought the Kingdom of God with me into that school, fulfilling my call to rule over the earth!  

Some amazing things happened during those days with both students and faculty, naturally, spontaneously and unconsciously (NSU). When I had to leave subbing at 80 because of decreasing energy and mobility, I actually missed the daily engagement in the battle! 

During that time, I saw others ruling in the Kingdom of God, such as a middle school librarian in a school where I was teaching, and a WalMart check our lady, (NSU). When I talked to each about what I had seen in their lives, they were both shocked! The following example, which I have shared before, is a perfect example of this NSU rule:

Two ditch-diggers were busily at work in the same large ditch. At one end of the ditch the digger was scowling, grumbling, and constantly looking at his watch after each shovelload. At the other end of the ditch, the other digger, with a beaming countenance, was humming happily as he energetically dug. 

A passer-by asked the first man, “What are you doing?” “Just digging a damned ditch!,” he mumbled. When the passer-by asked the man at the other end of the ditch the same question, he looked up with a big, radiant smile on his face and answered enthusiastically, “I’m building a cathedral!”,

Imagine what will happen when the church comes alive and begins to equip and send out every week cathedral-builders into all walks of life, to do what we were created to do—naturally, spontaneously and unconsciously rule over the earth for Jesus Christ!

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  1. Kevin Kaplan says:

    My Dear Friend, Pastor Andrews,
    I read you latest posting and swelled with pride, because I remembered where the story was going and who I heard it from.
    I’ve shared it many nemerous times. With fdamily, friends, and my employees. Most, I know, still carry the message in their hearts and mnds today. Because I know gavegave me the passion to deliver it the way He wanted. Thank you for everything!!
    Love, Kevin and the Kaplans I

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