Given purpose

What on earth am I here for? Surely everyone has asked that question at some point in their life? Whether it’s the child who continually asks ‘Why?’, the adult considering their career direction or the philosopher in the academy, we all need some answer to that question, or else we’d hust give up.

From our first creation, God has had a plan. No one makes anything without some sort of idea what it’s for – even if it’s just decorative. And if that’s true of us, then of course the all-knowing and ever-wise God isn’t going to be using His creative power randomly.

26 Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    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 in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’

Genesis 1

Our purpose flows from who we are. As people created to be like God, our role in this creation is similar to His. God is the great creator and ruler of all. He is the one who has made a world of order and activity. So we are called to rule this world (v26) and to fill it (v28).

We are called to be responsible and kind overseers of this world. To subdue the world into God’s order. It’s a significant responsibility – to be given this role and the power that comes with it.

We are like God’s deputies on Earth – people who have been given delegated authority. As if the Teacher is out of the room and has left the Teaching Assistant in charge. We shouldn’t make up our own rules. We shouldn’t change the syllabus. We shouldn’t abuse our power for our own gain. We shouldn’t mistreat those in our care.

We have a God-given authority over the world and we will answer to God for what we do with it. Are we faithful caretakers – looking after God’s world? Or are we just after what we can get?

Putting into Practice

  1. Consider the various roles you play each day – son, wife, colleague, boss, gardener, parent, child, consumer, creator. How are you obeying God’s perfect command to ‘fill the earth and subdue it’. Praise God for his delegated authority and the awesome responsibility He’s given us.
  2. Take extra time today to consider any ways in which you consume the Earth’s resources. Is this useful, beneficial, necessary… Does my use of God’s creation honour the Creator? Perhaps it might change what you buy or how you use what you have.