In Genesis 1: 28, God tells Adam and Eve to

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.

The charge “Be fruitful and increase in number” refers directly (and obviously) to having children, but I don’t think that it’s limited to childbearing.  Why?

  1. Because the passage immediately moves to ruling over the animals and the earth.  Why we enjoy progress.  And growth.  And building.
  2. Because I see this passage as being related to our creation in the image of God.  And since everybody can’t bear children, the passage must have applications beyond that.

This passage gives an explanation to something I’ve had stirring in my heart since I was born.  Something I see playing out in my life every day.  And something I see in my 2 year old son.

The desire to build.

One of my son’s favorite toys is his LEGOs.  He loves to get them out of the bucket and connect them together, building his tower higher and higher, wider and wider.  And then, as if that was the whole point in building it…he knocks it down, squeals with joy, and starts over again.  And he always wants me on the ground playing with him, feeding him more blocks, and connecting them to make his “building” bigger and better.

And I’m convinced that this is part of his being created in the image of God.  Building things from “scratch.”  Repairing broken things.  Making things taller, wider, and stronger.

And you know what…I have that same desire.

Not to spend my days playing with LEGOs.  But in creating a higher, deeper, and more sound structure for our church and small groups.  I want “every living creature that moves on the ground” to experience the width and length and height and depth of the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:18).

I want to add more volunteers.  Add more curriculum.  Make our trainings more effective.  Produce more disciples.  Make our connection events easier to navigate.

Then knock down the portions that aren’t working as effectively so that we can build the structure even better.

And I’m convinced that this is part of being created in the image of God.

Our desire to build structures, systems, ourselves and others is connected with our being created to “fill the earth and subdue it.”

And this helps us to know why we’re frustrated by a lack of progress.  And why, when we’re not meeting our goals, that gets on our nerves.  And when a project takes longer than normal to complete, why we want to change things up to continue progressing.

Ever talked with someone who has no idea where they’re headed in life?  They’re unnerved by that, aren’t they?

Because we were created to build, and grow, and create, and refine, and progress.

It’s part of who we are as God’s creatures.

Ever been frustrated by a lack of growth?

Ever found yourself just wanting to knock things down so you can build something stronger?

Do you play with LEGOs?