You open your Bible, seeking wisdom and guidance. As you read the words on the pages, a question forms in your mind – what is divine mandate? This concept is central to understanding God’s will, yet it can be elusive. In this post, we will explore the meaning of divine mandate and how it applies in your life.
Divine mandate is the calling, purpose, and mission given by God to humanity. It encompasses why we are here, how we are meant to live, and what we are meant to accomplish. A divine mandate originates from God and aligns with His will and purposes.
As Christians, we believe that God created humankind with intentional design. You are not here by accident but are part of a grand plan. Finding and living out your divine mandate is key to living a satisfied and obedient life. Understanding divine mandate will empower you to thrive in fulfilling your calling.
- Divine mandate originates from God and aligns with His purposes
- It encompasses why we are here, how we are meant to live, and what we are meant to accomplish
- Finding and living your divine mandate is crucial for a satisfied and obedient life
- Understanding divine mandate empowers you to thrive in your calling
In the remainder of this post, we will unpack the biblical foundation for divine mandate and see how it applies in various spheres of life. Get ready to understand your purpose and mission on a whole new level!
The Creation Mandate
To comprehend divine mandate, we must begin at the very origin of humanity. In Genesis 1, we find the creation account. God creates the heavens, the earth, and all living creatures. The pinnacle of His creation is humankind.
In Genesis 1:26, God declares this intention for creating man and woman:
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (NKJV)
Humanity is made in the image of God, set apart from the rest of creation. With this unique identity comes a God-given mandate to rule over creation on God’s behalf. This has become known as the “creation mandate.”
Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden and given the mission to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, subdue it, and have dominion (see Genesis 1:28). Their purpose was to steward creation and represent God’s reign.
However, this mandate took a devastating hit when Adam and Eve sinned against God. Their rebellion brought curse and corruption into the world, marring the image of God (see Genesis 3). Though the mandate continued, fulfilling it became much more difficult.
Yet God’s plans cannot be thwarted. Through Jesus Christ, God sent redemption and opened the way for restored relationship between God and humankind.
As Christians, we now share the creation mandate along with the opportunity to see it fulfilled in light of Christ’s redemptive work. God has given you gifts, talents, and opportunities unique to you to live out His purposes on the earth. As you walk with God daily, discover how you can steward life well to the glory of the Creator.
The Great Commission
After rising from the dead, Jesus gathered His disciples and gave them a divine mandate often described as the “Great Commission.” We find Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 28:18-20:
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (NKJV)
In light of Christ’s complete authority, Jesus commands His followers to go into the world and make disciples. The mandate to influence the nations for God’s Kingdom takes on new meaning after Jesus’ death and resurrection.
With the Holy Spirit’s empowerment, the disciples spread the Gospel far and wide. The Good News of salvation through Christ reached people everywhere. Those who received it became part of a growing, diverse community of believers.
Two thousand years later, the Great Commission remains a divine mandate for all Christians. God calls you to share the Gospel with your spheres of influence. As you go through your daily life, look for opportunities to be a light and testify to Christ. Pray for open doors to directly share your faith as the Spirit leads you. Be intentional in obeying this mandate.
Mandates for Israel
In addition to the creation and Great Commission mandates, God also gave specific mandates to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament.
For example, in Genesis 12, God calls Abram (later renamed Abraham) to leave his country and family and go to the land that God would show him. God makes a covenant with Abraham, promising to bless him and make him into a great nation. In return, Abraham and his descendants must live as God’s people by faith in God’s promises. This covenant formed the foundation of Israel’s identity and purpose as a nation.
Through Moses, God delivered Israel from slavery in Egypt and gave them the Law at Mount Sinai. The Ten Commandments and other laws constituted Israel’s mandate as a theocratic nation. If the Israelites obeyed God’s laws, they would be greatly blessed and become a light to other nations (see Deuteronomy 28). Sadly, Israel struggled to live by God’s mandates, often falling into idolatry and injustice.
Yet God continually restored Israel and sent prophets to declare His truths and call the people back to covenant faithfulness. The Old Testament is a saga of Israel’s repeated failure to uphold God’s mandates, punctuated by God’s mercy in sending deliverance.
While these mandates applied specifically to Israel under the old covenant, we can learn much from studying them. God’s character and purposes are unchanging. Principles such as justice, ethical living, care for the vulnerable, and exclusive allegiance to God remain relevant. Learning Israel’s story helps us grasp the seriousness of heeding divine mandates.
Mandates for Spiritual Gifts
In addition to broad mandates to all Christians, God also gives specific mandates to believers related to their spiritual gifts and roles in the Church.
Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 describe diverse gifts such as prophecy, service, teaching, giving, administration, and more. Each gift plays a part in building up the Body of Christ. God distributes these gifts among believers as He wills.
If you have been given a particular spiritual gift, it carries a mandate to use that gift for God’s purposes. For example, those with a gift of hospitality should be “Practice hospitality” (Romans 12:13). Believers gifted in giving should exercise their gift “with generosity” (Romans 12:8). Use your spiritual gifts faithfully within the context of Christian community for the glory of God.
In Ephesians 4, we find that God gifts certain people to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to equip the Church for ministry. These leadership gifts come with great responsibility. Leaders must model Christ-like character and rightly use Scripture to train believers for service. Church leaders carry mandates to shepherd God’s people with grace and truth.
There are also general mandates that apply to various roles and relationships. Husbands must love their wives as Christ loved the Church (Ephesians 5:25). Wives must submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22). Parents must not exasperate their children but train them in the ways of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Children must obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1-3). Believers must submit to and pray for those in authority over them (1 Timothy 2:1-3). Work hard and serve wholeheartedly as if working for the Lord (Colossians 3:23).
Fulfilling your divine mandates requires growing in wisdom and character. Stay close to God’s Word and Spirit. Consult mature believers when facing difficult situations. God will help you honor Him through faithful obedience.
Living Out Divine Mandate
We have explored several key biblical mandates – the creation mandate, Great Commission, Israel’s mandates, and mandates based on spiritual gifts and roles. Here are some final thoughts on how to live out divine mandates:
First, remain constantly connected to God through prayer, Scripture, worship, and community. Apart from Christ, you can do nothing (John 15:5). Only in God’s strength can you fulfill your calling. Abide in Him, staying fresh in your relationship with God.
Second, understand your unique design and gifts. How has God specifically equipped you to advance His Kingdom? Reflect on your experience, assessment results, and feedback from loved ones. Seek clarity on your purpose.
Third, align your life around your primary mandates. Make decisions based on fulfilling your God-given priorities. Steward your time, talents, and resources wisely for maximum kingdom impact.
Fourth, remain faithful when challenges come. Persevere in acting on your mandates, trusting God with the results. You may face opposition or setbacks. But stand on God’s promises and keep pursuing His purposes.
Fifth, be attentive to God’s leading over the seasons of your life. How you live out divine mandates at age 20 may look different at age 40 or 60. Cooperate with how God guides you through life stages. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s newer directions.
In conclusion, divine mandate provides a framework for understanding your purpose as a follower of Jesus. Heed God’s Word and Spirit as you pursue your calling. Seek to fulfill the mandates entrusted to you with faithfulness and joy, bringing glory to the Giver of all good gifts.