Step 2. Understand God’s Plan for Mankind
In order to find meaning in your life, you must learn how you fit into God’s overall plan for mankind. Then and only then will you find satisfaction in what you do. God reveals Himself to us first through His work of creation. The heavens declare the power and majesty of God (Psalm 19). Through creation we understand that God is all powerful, all knowing, and all present. There is nothing that exists that was not created by Him. And everything was created by Him for His own pleasure. God did not create us so He can please us and entertain us, as some men would have us believe.
God is above and beyond what we can comprehend. He is transcendent. He is also sovereign, meaning, that He does what He chooses, when He chooses and for whatever purpose He has. God does not sit around waiting for man to tell Him what to do. God has a plan for His creation and man has an important part to play in the cosmic drama. At some point, our time comes up. Occupying particular spaces on earth, we play our part. In time and space, we exist and move and have our being because of God (Acts 17:24-28). But although God is transcendent, yet He is immanent. He is near us. He reveals Himself to us in a personal way.
By knowing God, we learn to know what good means – what is pleasing to Him. And what right means – what conforms to His will. Our knowledge of the good and the right shape our values. We also get to know that God looks to the heart for our motivation in doing what we do; that He uses His own standard for good and right (He does not leave it to men to set the standard); and that He considers, when judging our behavior, the purpose toward which our actions are directed.
After God had created man and woman He blessed them. Mankind was originally created in a state of blessedness – in true knowledge, righteousness and holiness. And God gave them a mandate:
Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground (Genesis 1:28).
The Hebrew word, “blessed” has to do with the knees. The image being presented here is that of worship and service. In Matthew 4:10, Jesus said, Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only. God’s will for man is revealed here. Man was created to worship and serve his Creator.
It is in the worship and service of our God that we find fulfillment and contentment. God enables us, in spirit and truth. What a great privilege for mankind.
To worship God means to express our love for Him and to praise Him for who He is and the great things He has done. It means proclaiming God’s excellent attributes and acknowledging His worthiness to receive all glory, honor and thanksgiving.
Serving God means filling the earth, subduing the earth and ruling over the fish, birds and creatures on the ground.
In short, God’s original mandate for man is to create a civilization that glorifies God.
When God created the earth, it was formless and empty (Genesis 1:2). God did not create a paradise earth but He planted a garden in Eden where He made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground — trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food; and there he put the man He had formed to give him a home (Genesis 2:8-9).
God also gave man a job: Work the garden and take care of it (Genesis 2:15). The garden of Eden was meant to serve as a training ground for man that he may be prepared to carry out God’s original mandate. God made the earth formless and empty. It was His plan for man to bring form to the earth and fill it. Unfortunately, man fell into sin that caused the ground to be cursed.
Because of man’s disobedience, the creation was “deformed.” But the original mandate was not revoked. It still stands. Sin notwithstanding, you and I need to get busy transforming our society for the glory of our God.
This is God’s plan for our lives. This is where our own plans need to revolve.