TEND AND KEEP
From the various issues going on in our world right now and the global shutdown happening because of the dreaded corona virus, we have to clearly now redefine what it means to work from the perspective of how God intended it from the beginning. There is not a better time in history than the time we are in right now, where each man should conduct a thorough review of their lives, assignments and purposes on earth, to see if each has been faithful to their life’s purpose. For if by the hand of just one unseen virus the entire system of the world shut down, jobs closed, companies asked their employees to work from home, schools closed for an unknown duration, friends and families were told not to even shake hands, then I think it’s time we asked ourselves what really is God saying to us here? I really don’t have an issue with anyone who says there is no God or who thinks their life emanates from some slime through evolution, but my take is this; no one is here on this earth as an accidental discharge from nowhere; irrespective of how each was conceived or born or the level of animosity or love between the two that gave birth to them. All men on earth are born for unique God-given purposes. That some know and walk in the reality of their purposes while others don’t doesn’t change the fact that everyone was born for a God-given purpose. There are lots of teachings and books out there that speak of the purpose or destiny of men to the point where those terms have become clichés and topics only useful for making businesses grow, and not for the supply of truth that gives clear perspectives of the mind of God concerning each person and how they can be effective in their lives on earth.
Every man is blessed
Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
The blessing of God over all of creation is not linked to any form of affiliation to religious organizations or spiritual creeds. Man was blessed by God long before any form of society or community was created on earth. However, this blessing is directly tied to the principle of tending and keeping the purpose of God given to man. The blessing of multiplication, replenishment, dominion and all the things God spoke to man in the garden are all connected to man’s ability to tend and keep God’s purpose on earth. In fact, the true blessing of God only rests on him who tends and keeps His purpose on earth. Period! Why? God is a creator and if man was created in his image and likeness, then man automatically becomes a co-creator by the act of nurturing the very things God created and then replenishing them. When scripture says God will bless the work of a man’s hand, He wasn’t just talking of how we have defined it as increment in business turnover or better jobs or whatever we like to define it as. He was speaking of the blessing He, God, puts on the man who tends and keeps His purpose, irrespective of the financial status of such a man. The true blessing of God over a man is found in these words “well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into the REST of your Lord” even while such man is still alive on earth. The blessing of God is REST. And rest is not defined as holidays in some luxury resorts, but the alignment and conformity of man back to the image and likeness of God, which was lost in the beginning and which brings him back to the place of dominion and authority over creation. That a man is a billionaire according to the wealth of this world doesn’t mean he is blessed of God if such material wealth is not directly connected to God’s eternal purpose for such man. Imagine the man Abraham, who was so blessed of God beyond worldly goods that his bosom as father Abraham became a place of rest for the saints who have finished their works here on earth, while they wait for their inheritance in God. This is true blessing. For true blessing exceeds this physical earth and speaks in eternity.
The Lord said that to do the work of God is to believe in Him whom He sent. To believe is to align with the thoughts of God. Meaning work before God is to do in practical terms, the thing or things the mouth of God says. People work for different reasons. Some work for the purpose of paying bills, some for social status, some work to proof their worthiness before others, but few really work for the purpose of the mind of God being established in their lives and on the earth. Did you know that there is the Book of Life of the Lamb of God and also the books of works in heaven? (See Rev 20:12.) Mind you, it’s not necessarily the details of the job you are doing right now on earth or the many contracts you are executing right now that is written in the books of works, but the answer of a good conscience before God in the light of the things He said to you which you obeyed and which created a lifestyle of tending and keeping God’s purpose on earth irrespective of the job you find yourself doing. Have you ever wondered why a man will have an executive position in a multinational company and still complain of the feeling of emptiness on the inside, coupled with lack of any form of eternal value? Several of such cases have been reported over the years. It simply points us to the truth that, there is that purpose in God that He puts in every man’s heart and until they find it, tend and keep it, they will always feel emptiness in their souls. Work, therefore, is not what puts food on your table, but what puts you at the table of the blessing of God.
Faithfulness is the backbone of every relationship, both with men and with God. But the meaning of faithfulness has been battered over time to mean some kind of controlling commitment to something or a relationship, or agreements etc. But to see faithfulness as just commitment is not complete, for it goes beyond just commitment to an alignment to a purpose. Even among married people or those in relationships, commitment without a vision or purpose for the relationship is practically useless. No one can commit to a purposeless relationship, except if such a relationship is just make believe. Same way, our lives are not just some random pieces of events that make us go to school, graduate, get a job, get married, make babies etc. We were created for a purpose and that purpose is what creates our daily reality and for which we are expected to be committed to. When true faithfulness takes hold of a man, his entire lifestyle takes the shape of that commitment to what he is faithful to. If such faithfulness is to God, then such a man already lives in eternity even while still on earth.
Tend and keep
Over the past years, I have often wondered what exactly can be said is the original plan of God concerning man and his daily purpose on earth. One foundational principle stands out strong if seen for what it is. I speak of the principle of Tend and Keep. By this simple phrase given from the heart of God to humanity from the inception of the earth, everything was meant to work. It doesn’t matter which field of endeavor or calling, all is subjected to the principle of Tend and Keep. This is a master principle that carries the power to change our world if applied with diligence and commitment to God.
To tend and keep is to incubate, birth, nurture and watch diligently over the purpose or the word of God given to a man within the space of the time and the generation in which it is given. It is directly tied to a man’s purpose in God. The purpose of God for man is simply that man should be the image and likeness of God on the earth. However, that reality of man being the image and likeness of God on the earth will be expressed through whatever activity God choses for it to be expressed. If as an executive in a company, fine. As a stay at home mom, good. Or as anything else He chooses for us to express it as. Mind you, the entire world is in disarray because men have chosen to believe that there is no God or any form of God-given purpose and thus no forms of tending and keeping of such purposes of God. Men have learnt to create their own destinies and realities in a sense, without any clue of how God intends for them to live and the result is the chaos and tragedy we have on earth today. Imagine a situation on earth where every man knows their purpose in God and then gives it all it takes to tend and keep such purpose. It will be all glorious. Why? When each one knows his purpose, tends and keeps it, then the mystery of as every joints supply for the growth of the fullness of God in creation will be achieved. The original purpose of God to be one with creation will be seamlessly achieved.
The Nations must learn this
You see nations of the world go through untold hardship, they put such heavy burdens on their citizens in the form of taxes and levies and all forms of heart-breaking policies, which don’t make sense most times, just so they can keep their economic agendas and man-made systems running. But God didn’t create any nation without natural resources that would take care of their needs. It’s just that nature will not respond to man as long as he has not learnt how to tend and keep God’s purpose. There is a difference between tending and keeping for God, and toiling and sweating to keep body and soul together. The first is a blessing from God, while the other is a curse. But the question is this, why do men love to toil and sweat to eat, which is a curse rather than tend and keep God’s purpose which is God’s original blessing. The answer is simple. Man always wants to do his own self will rather than do God’s will. That too has its reward.
So let Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, America, South Africa, Australia and all the nations of the earth go back to knowing God’s purposes for their nations, tend and keep such purposes and you will see the natural blessing that God kept in that land suddenly manifest and nations won’t need to tax or burden their people anymore. For when God said in Genesis 3 that in sweat and toiling shall man eat out of the ground, He meant it as a curse and the only solution to that is for man to go back to tending and keeping God’s purpose.
All will give account
But let it be known that for every act of faithfulness to God’s purpose that a man takes on himself and every act of unfaithfulness that a man chooses to express before God, he will give account of it all. God is a just God and He will repay every man according to how his works shall be. My thought is this, what kind of society would we have, if, the president of a nation, a supreme court judge, a doctor in the hospital, a member of parliament, a teacher, a footballer, a musician, a pastor, a landlord, a business man, a plumber, a taxi driver etc all are committed to tending and keeping the purpose of God in their hands, without corrupt compromises and any form of evil conscience at work? Think about it for your own purpose in God and do all to tend and keep the purpose of God in your hand and our society will not be the same again.