As I read this verse this morning it literally crawled off the screen to me. It was almost as if the words took on a life of their own, marched over to me like ants, crawled all over my skin, and then sunk in and became a part of me. As I read it a second time, it was like I suddenly understood that this verse was not just talking about what we always think it's talking about.
So what was lost? The obvious answer is that man was lost. When Adam and Eve sinned, that relationship between man and God was lost, and Jesus came to redeem that relationship. Jesus came so that God could once again have fellowship with the race of men, whom He so loves and cherishes. When I think about just that... then I try thinking about what it may have been like to be living in Old Testament times. I can't imagine trying to live without the assurance of God right there all the time. I can't imagine trying to live without the breathe of the Holy Spirit guiding my every move and thought. And I certainly can't imagine a life worth living without the assurance of eternity without the presence of God at all times. Jesus certainly brought that relationship into reality, and every day I am reminded of how grateful I am for that.
But there was also something else lost when man fell. We have to go all the way back to Genesis 1, to see how God truly designed things to be here on earth, to see what it was that was lost.
"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
29 Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so." Genesis 1:26-30
God had given man the earth all those years ago. He specifically said to rule over it and subdue it, and when Adam and Eve sinned, that dominion was lost. And even though Jesus came over 2000 years ago, we are only now beginning to really understand these gems that are hidden throughout the Bible. We are supposed to have dominion over the earth! We, each and every one of us, have been given the earth and all that it contains.
I wanted to see this put into action, so I conducted a little experiment over the last several months. Way back in January, I started a few tomato seeds. I planted them and nurtured them until the sprouted and grew enough to be transplanted in bigger pots. I had three plants, and I separated them. One I transplanted into a larger pot and moved into a window on the first floor of the house. The other two I blessed as I planted them. I re-potted them, I gently brushed their leaves, and I commanded them to grow and bloom, and bear abundant fruit. I called them blessed, and I commanded them to grow "in Jesus' name". I did this just twice. Each time I had to transplant to a bigger pot, I again commanded and blessed the plants.
Now all three plants grew. I watered, fertilized, and tended all three plants at the same times every day. They all grew in the same south facing windows, just on different floors of the house, but I'll tell you, the ones that grew on the second floor were incredible plants. They grew and grew and were so prolific, and abundant. They just kept shooting out new growth after new growth, they grew all the way to the ceiling, and there were literally hundreds of blossoms on these plants. The one downstairs was a good three feet shorter than the other two. It was also blossoming and bearing fruit, and doing well, but it was like night and day- it looked like a completely different plant.
Now one could ask if my blessing and commanding really made the difference. My experiment was not scientific enough to conclude with absolute certainty. But boy, do I believe it made an immense and amazing difference. In the weeks to come my thoughts and attention are going to turn to the annual vegetable garden, and you can be sure that as I am planting my garden, it is going to get blessed, and I am going to command it to bear abundantly.
Because God gave us the earth! He made it for us to enjoy, He made the earth for us to inhabit and dominate and to utilize it to its full potential. And since Jesus came to restore to us that which we lost way back in the garden of Eden, I intend to do my part to reclaim that which was lost. When I think about the mere potential here, I get shivers. Just imagine the possibilities if simply blessing and commanding fruit to grow caused an increase in production! Where companies are trying to manufacture super seeds and special fertilizers to maximize growth, we can do the exact same thing with mere words. With the words of our mouth we can fertilize the very cells of the plants that were ours to command in the first place.
Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. Now it's up to us to make the most of that which is now found.