In Genesis 1:28 God commands us to “fill the earth and subdue it.” Carrying out our job descriptions at work is one of the key ways we subdue our world. Does it mean more than just do our job? What about your work in your home? In your community? Let’s remember, work is not our purpose but one of our platforms where we live out our faith. In the same way God gave shape and form to the earth during Creation, you are called to shape and form the world around you. How are you filling and subduing the world around you? Here are a few key ways for you to consider:
Biblical leaders serve others. Subduing can have a very aggressive and violent connotation to it. Sometimes, it can be used to mean dominate. It may sound like the opposite of serving. Christ, the perfect leader, was not exempt from this command but we can all agree his method of living this out was far from violent or aggressive. Christ subdued the earth through the caring service of others. He subdued illness by healing the sick. He subdued hate by teaching love. He subdued hunger by feeding thousands. Through serving others, you are subduing the world around you.
Biblical leaders invest time in others. Of course, filling the earth has a physical reproduction implication, but you don’t have to be a parent to fill the earth. It also applies to you as a leader – commanding you to multiply your leadership and influence. Are you looking for opportunities to mentor someone who seeks your guidance and wisdom? It might be for one situation, one project, one season, or for a lifetime. Biblical leaders are alert and intentional in seeking opportunities to invest time and wisdom in those around them.
Biblical leaders are cheerful givers. God uses our work to provide for us and bless us financially. We use that blessing to provide for our needs and the needs of our family. You can subdue the world around you by giving to others. God has given you a passion to subdue certain social or spiritual issues that hurt our fallen world or to fill the earth with things that bring joy to others. You can do these things by financially supporting nonprofits who are focused on those causes.
Through serving, mentoring, and giving, we are subduing the world around us. Spend some time taking inventory around each of these. During your next quiet time, think about what is the next step God is calling you to in order to “fill the earth and subdue it.”