“Then God blessed them (with His character) and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion…” – Gen 1:28
After God had created ‘man’ in His image and blessed them with His character, He empowered them to be productive in order to have dominion over all that God had created. However, there are conditions attached to having this dominion: ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it’. The one word that can appropriately summarise these conditions would be ‘productivity’.
Having the character of God is seen as the first step to having dominion on earth as we read the preceding two verses (cf. Gen. 1:26-27), this was followed by a very practical next step – an invitation to be productive. It simply means to ‘do the work’ and work out the giftings that have been given to us. You will notice in the text that the instruction to have dominion came after man had been commanded to be fruitful and multiply. Man was instructed to have dominion on earth by virtue of his output – to multiply and be fruitful in what has been given to him. To achieve this, he must be able to put in some effort and be productive. Once we decide to be productive in required areas of our lives dominion is inevitable. This goes to show that dominion is the function of productivity and not the other way round. To have dominion therefore, we must responsibly show that we are productive and diligent in using our time, money, energy, gifts, and in the way we live our lives. Dominion is the reward of the diligent.
In 2015, we started with ORDER, focusing on fixing the formlessness and empty messiness in our lives. 2016 was our year of CHARACTER. Together, we yanked off everything that had been holding us back from being a reflection of the true image and likeness of our Father in heaven. The same goes for 2017. It is our year of PRODUCTIVITY.
With productivity comes dominion. If we are not productive we cannot have dominion, and without good character and discipline we cannot be productive. Productivity can mean so many things to different people. However as a premise it can mean any of these two things: the quality of being productive, or, having the power to produce. ‘What is the quality that makes one productive?’ and ‘How can we be empowered to produce?’ Both questions are linked to the same answer(s). It boils down to two building blocks: character and order. We need order in our lives to be productive. Without order we cannot have the character to produce. In similar manner, our character empowers us to be productive – we cannot commit to anything without character. We need order and character to have the quality of being productive. Order and character must be resident in us before we can prioritize our activities to produce tangible outcomes.
There are different ways to go about being productive this year. For some, it is a time to give our vision some focus: zoom in to what is realistic and tidy things up. In other to do this, we need to stop investing our time and energy in wasteful ventures. Focus on doing what is practicable and necessary. 2017 can also be a time to rethink about expansion and growth in our career, business, and even family life. Productivity also has a lot to do with having the right people around us; healthy relationships that can fuel our productive energy. Ultimately, whatever we do with regards to improving our productive quality in 2017, if it is not supported or carried by the principle of love, it is worth little (cf. I Cor 13). Love is the most incomplete-complete word describing the essence of what the image of God actually implies. That is our image and towards that likeness of love a spiritual journey is required, in which one of the most essential elements is the ‘kenosis’ of Philippians 2—giving away power, as Jesus did, empowering others.
It is time to be productive. Let’s go! #2017
Rev. Victor Counted