C.S. Lewis wrote, “All that we call human history–money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery–[is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”
Why would humanity spend its existence searching for meaning and purpose? Why do we all desire answers to the questions of life? Where do these inborn traits come from?
The answers to those questions lie in understanding our origins. If we do not understand why God created us then we will never find our purpose because we will search in the wrong places. Let us consider our primary, original purposes and perhaps this will help clarify your purpose and destiny a bit further.
In the beginning God created Adam and breathed into him. This is incredibly important because God did not breathe into any other created being in this realm. Only Adam, only humans, have this distinction. Indeed, this is what separates us from the animals. Modern evolutionists are fond of calling us animals, and in a sense we are quite similar to many of the creatures on earth, but we are radically different because only we carry the image of God imprinted on us.
Being an “imager” of God, a term Michael Heiser uses, means we reflect His qualities and attributes. We are made to be like God. Within us we carry abilities and gifts directly given to us by God that we were created to use to bless humanity and the earth. When we discover these through prayer and meditation and study, we will walk in our purpose and destiny and find the fulfillment we desire.
God’s command to Adam was to rule over the creation. Humanity was to “fill the earth and subdue it”. We were meant to landscape and garden and coax the beauty out of the earth. We were meant to domesticate animals and care for them. We were meant to shape the earth into a paradise where all humanity could live in peace. We still carry that mandate even though sin and death have made these tasks much more difficult.
When we understand we were created to be rulers and have authority, we understand the inborn desire we all have to dominate something. Whether that something is art, science, people, ideas, machines, animals, mathematics, etc., does not matter. We all carry within us this desire to master something and our struggle is to do just that. This is because of our rulership mandate.
It’s important to note that we were not originally designed to rule over people. This is a result of the fall. When the people of Israel begged God for a king to rule over them, God told them no before finally giving in to them. God’s design is for Him to be the ruler and for us to govern as His subordinates in the earth. When we are properly aligned within that structure, we will not see other people as threats to our desires but as fellow imagers who need our help to carry out their purpose and who can help us with ours.
God does not specifically tell Adam to create, but creation is so integral to God’s nature it seems obvious that we were meant to create. Creativity comes in many forms, so I am not referring to a specific type of creativity. Whether one creates art, science, math, mechanics, poetry, kinetics, or music, all these are some of the many ways we can create.
Creation is about bringing something new into existence that is filtered through your consciousness. You are the unique factor in the process. My music composition professor in college was a world famous composer. He was fond of saying, “There’s only twelve notes!” He went on to say he believed no one could compose a truly unique composition because there would always be some piece of it that was not original to you. I agree with him because we are incapable of creating as God creates, and only God can bring something that never was into existence.
In other words, we can create using the universe around us, our minds, our spirits, creation itself…but we cannot create something from nothing. That should not stop us from creating. As His imagers we inherently desire to bring things forth into existence, and even if parts of our creations are not original, anything we create will be unique simply because it passed through our being into existence.
When the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus with their question about which commandment was the greatest, Jesus responded with two commands about love. He said to love God and love people. Perhaps our greatest reason for existence is to be carriers of His love in the universe. Because God breathed into humanity, we have the capacity to carry a part of God within us. Indeed, when we submit and receive salvation we are “born again” meaning our original spirit is imbued with life and power from Holy Spirit.
Once we are regenerated, God literally dwells within us. This means we have God’s love at work within our physical bodies and within our minds and spirits. When we are regenerated we suddenly have the ability to be a channel of God’s love from heaven into the earth. We can bring His love into the creation and to other people because He lives within us.
We have no higher calling. Jesus made this plain. We were designed primarily to reflect God’s love back to God and to other people. When we walk in this love we are walking in our original design and purpose. Everything else in your life will flow from this place. We must start and end with love and allow God’s agape love to bookend our lives.
You and I are originals. We were created to be imagers of God, to govern creation, to create, and to love. Understanding these original design specifications helps us to understand ourselves better. Walking in these traits and allowing them to shape who we are through the power of Holy Spirit will bring us into alignment with God so we will have peace and joy each day.
I pray you discover your destiny as you journey this path of life. It is only found within a relationship with Jesus because He is the original designer. Remember that you are uniquely and wonderfully made and God has a purpose for your life. May you surrender to Him and discover that truth today.