And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
“What if objects were alive? What would make them happy? What would make them sad?”
This was the question that the founders of Pixar asked as they began to script their first movies. They came to a simple conclusion: objects would be happy if they were fulfilling their created intent, and sad if they were not.
A lightbulb would be happy if it was on, illuminating a dark room, but sad if it was off. A box would be happy if it was filled, but sad if it was empty. A toy, hypothetically speaking, would be happy if it was being played with, but sad if it was neglected.
When an object is fulfilling its created intent, it experiences the joy of what it was made for.
Mankind has a created intent.
At the height of creation, God created those who would bear his image. In the ancient world, kings would put statues of themselves throughout their empire to show their rule even in their absence. Humanity is God’s statue come to life.
God’s first action over humanity is to bless them. God’s first command is to enjoy the world he created. God’s first duty he calls mankind to is to have dominion over all he created. To lead the world alongside him.
You were fashioned to reveal the triune God to the world: to look like God in his character, to lead like God in his compassion, to love like God in his sacrificial care. That’s what it means to be made in his image.
God’s desire has always been to love and lead this world through his image bearers. He is so committed to this mission, that when humanity failed to look like, lead like, and love like God, he became one of us.
Remaining what he was (God), Jesus became what he was not (human). He entered into the storyline of Scripture, fully human and fully divine. By stepping into our story as one of us, he lived out the story we were meant for.
Jesus looked like God, perfectly representing the character of God to the world as the Son of God. Jesus led like God as he moved towards the broken, the hurting, the scared, the scarred, and the sinner in perfect compassion. Jesus loved like God in his sacrificial care that manifests itself fully on the cross.
Jesus looked like, led like, loved like God because he was God. So if you have failed to step into your divinely appointed role as image bearer, then welcome to humanity. When we come to know him, our humanity is restored as we are tethered back into a right relationship with him.
You have created intent. And in Christ you are able to be alive once more to look like, lead like, and love like God.