The world and everything in it
belong to God, for He is the ultimate Creator. He gave dominion and rule
over the created world to man (Genesis 1:26-28). I believe that when a
person is in harmony with God's Spirit, creativity is increased and
he is better able to generate ideas, "mastermind" plans and complete
projects. The authors of Psalms and Proverbs confirm this: "All my
springs are in you" (Psalm 87:7), and "Keep your heart with all
diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23).
According to the Scriptures, there is a correlation between man's
obedience to God and his ability to "bear fruit" or be creative. When our
hearts are directed towards our Maker, good fruit is produced. Gifts
of the Spirit are revealed as we create and fulfil our God-ordained
purpose. If we faithfully follow our Heavenly Father, we will grow into
His image and likeness.
The following passages speak of this connection:
"These signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will
cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up
serpents; if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they
will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover" (Mark 16:17-18).
"There are various gifts, but the same Spirit ... To one is given by
the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge ... to
another faith ... to another gifts of healings ... to another the
working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of
spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the
interpretation of tongues" (1 Corinthians 12:4-10).
These verses refer to supernatural spiritual manifestations. Yeshua the
Messiah and His apostles spoke of them and performed them. Throughout the
Bible, and even in recent history, we find similar manifestations
revealed through His servants. The hearts of people who witnessed such
moves of God were opened to God's work and His purposes. When
submitted to the will of God, these were mighty instruments of influence,
even helping change the course of history.
Today, there are two opinions in the Christian world regarding the
gifts of the Spirit. Some people consider the gifts as
belonging to the distant past, needed then to spread the Gospel. Others
see them as part of a promise ("for gifts and callings are
irrevocable"), powerful and equally present in our day.
I would like to look at this subject through the lens of my favorite
preaching topic: Tikkun Olam.
Tikun HaOlam - Restoration of the World
In the opening verses of the Bible we read that "God created man in
His own image ..." (Genesis 1:27). Soon after, in Genesis 2:15, we
discover that God's mandate for Adam was to tend the Garden and
guard it. When reading Adam's story, we unintentionally disregard
how special he was.
Entrusted with Perfection
Adam had been charged to oversee the Garden. This shows how much
confidence God placed in Adam, for He entrusted him with something that
was already perfect. It also reveals the level of man's intellect
and his ability to do the work, the quality of which could potentially
rival that of God. Interestingly, from this vantage point, we can get a
hint of what Yeshua meant when He referred to those who believe, doing
Gifted to Protect
Spiritually, Adam was also in a position to protect the Garden from any
threat. God would never give someone a task that could not be fulfilled.
Adam's mission included the protection of Eden from a certain enemy.
From the story recounted in Genesis, I assume that the enemy was the
Devil and his servants, as only they could have posed such a danger. This
also suggests that the capability to guard the Garden from such a
powerful adversary was included in the spiritual strength planted in Adam
from the outset.
Gifted to Create
We can now draw a clearer picture of who Adam really was. His spiritual,
intellectual and physical potential was fully at his disposal. His "inner
springs" were available to accomplish the work at hand. Therefore, when
he walked with God in the cool of the day, he could have fellowship with
the Creator, the Author of the heavenly and earthly realms. And, as a
result, Adam could create things about which we can only dream today.
Put on Pause
Unfortunately, this idyllic state was soon interrupted. Sin's
invasion and God's intervention limited man's capabilities and
development. Adam's access to his God-given potential became
limited, because he had forfeited the perfect, sinless condition which
fostered it. The peace of God and fellowship with Him was restricted.
People turned to wickedness, and God's judgement was meted out.
Following the flood, God promised to "never again curse the ground for
man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil
from his youth ..." (Genesis 8:21). Even though man's heart
remained unchanged, God made a commitment not to destroy humanity ever
again. What had changed? Man's creative potential and the
abilities first seen in Adam were reduced so that future generations
would not use them to destroy the rest of creation.
Reactivated and Revealed
The world is still fallen and separated from its Creator. Yet we, as
followers of Yeshua are encouraged to continually seek Him.
"Imitate me, just as I also imitate Messiah" (1 Corinthians 11:1).
And as we draw closer to God, our inner gifts and the gifts of the Spirit
will be increasingly accessible to us. The supernatural realm will begin
to open up: "... creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons
of God" (Romans 8:19).
Fruit and Gifts
As we pursue renewed life in Messiah, it is important to consider the
following questions. What are we seeking? Where do our hearts lie? What
do we actually need these gifts for? Do we want to impress other people
and use them for our own advantage? There is a reason why we are warned
that "by their fruit you will know them" (Matthew 7:20). Scripture
lists the gifts of the Spirit. Just as important is the fruit of our
lives - the way we live and how our actions manifest the image of the
Messiah, at the pinnacle of God's creation.
"If death ruled because of one person's failure, those who
receive the multiplied grace and the gift of righteousness will even more
certainly rule in life through the one person Messiah Yeshua" (Romans