In the book of Genesis we find the story of the creation. Where God set out and brought an entire universe into existence. Everything was created with a particular purpose and was designed in specific detail for that purpose. The tree was designed for shelter, oxygen, and to produce fruit for food. We see in the New Testament that when a tree does not fulfill its designed purpose it is cut away or in the case of the fig tree in Matthew Chapter 21, cursed. The moon served its purpose by holding things in balance, keeping the waves within the boundaries of the ocean, all through its gravitational pull on the earth. Yes everything has a purpose and its design is in direct correspondence to its purpose.
Let us look at the greatest of designs and investigate its purpose in minor detail. We want to visit this topic long enough to find the connection between mans design and his failure or success in fulfilling that design. We will find that we can make a direct correlation between man walking in the fullness of his design and purpose and his success and the success of those in his periphery as well.
Gen 1:26,  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.”
We find that man was created in the image and likeness of God.
The word translated image here is the Hebrew tselem”
From an unused root meaning to shade; a phantom, that is, (figuratively) illusion, resemblance; hence a representative figure, especially an idol: – image, vain shew.
Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries
The word translated likeness is the Hebrew “d’muth”
From H1819; resemblance; concretely model, shape; adverbially like: – fashion, like (-ness, as), manner, similitude.
Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries
Both words denote resemblance to God, the conception of man in resemblance to God, silent in its expression or loudly proclaimed, is the undercurrent of all revelation. In Genesis 9:6 we see it given as the reason for prohibiting murder. In Colossians 3:10 is speaks of our regeneration. Therefore image and likeness refer to man being created as an expression of the essence of God. We see first of all that man was made in the image of God as a representation of God here on earth. So then our imagery is that of a shadow of divinity. This is the design, but we must search further to find the purpose. Remember that the design works in direct correlation to the purpose.
Gen 1:28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
The first thing man is commanded to do is be fruitful and multiply. The words fruitful and multiply are words of redundancy stressing extreme relevance. Both words carry the connotation of bringing an increase. In this instance God is speaking of the propagation of the human race through natural reproduction. Please notice that God does not give them a choice, but requires it of them. So the first purpose of man is to reproduce to set forth offspring. As we have seen in previous articles, the fulfillment of this obligation comes with subsequent requirements and responsibilities.
Following the command to reproduce is the command to subdue the earth, take dominion over it. Man is given the responsibility to rule over every living thing. This speaks to his dominion. Subdue is to take control over. The key word is control. I will make my point momentarily.
So, from this one verse, we can see that man was designed with the purpose of reproducing as well as having dominion over every living thing. However, there is more.
Gen 1:29  Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;
Gen 1:30  and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to everything that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.
Gen 1:31  God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
God said to his human creation, I have given everything that I have created to be placed under you. Basically what he is saying to Adam here is that I have given you absolute authority over everything. I have designed you to function optimally for the sake of fulfilling your purpose. There is nothing that I am requiring of you that I have not designed you to do. Unfortunately, we all know the story. God gave Adam and eventually Ishah (the woman, she was not called Eve until after the fall) one simple negative command:
Gen 2:16 The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;
Gen 2:17  but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Now we have to be careful in analyzing this portion of scripture, we see that Adam is given the command before the woman is created, so one might assume that she did not know, but we see that she has knowledge of this command when she is engaged by the craftiness and subtleness of Satan. She either learned of this command by the teaching of her husband, or she learned as God taught them in the cool of the day. When speaking with Satan she embellishes the command when she says that they were told not to touch it. It adding to the Word she was dishonest, however since the only negative command was not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, embellishment here is not the issue.
From a preliminary examination of the aforementioned passages we glean quite a bit. Man was designed to reproduce, subdue, and rule. He was created to have dominion over all that God had created before him. He had named every living creature displaying authority over it. Yet, in one moment of weakness, it was all taken away. Adam not the woman, failed in his responsibility to rule in his dominion. He was the first to fail in his design, but there is more to the design by implication. We must look a little deeper in scripture to search out the full function of the design.
The key is in the original passage of scripture we viewed:
Gen 1:26 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.”
We were made in the likeness and image of God. We said earlier that image and likeness connotes a resemblance and expression of the essence of God. We are the representation of God to the World. Based on the word order, we can say that man’s greatest purpose is the representation of God before the world. When the world looks at the Christian man, they should see a man whose words and actions properly portray the essence of God.
We know that God is love:
Zep 3:17  “The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
Rom 8:38  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
Rom 8:39  nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1Jn 4:8  The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
So then when the man of God is observed those observing him should see the expression of God’s Love through Him. They should see love in the way that he treats his wife. They should see love in the way that he treats his children, they should see love in the way he engages fellow believers. They should even see love in the way that he engages sinners.
This love is not a love in the sense that most of us see love, but love that is unconditional and unwavering. God is not capricious in His love toward man. His love is not affected by our actions. God’s love is subjective, which means that His love is dependent upon who He is and not who he loves. Because God is love, he embodies its true meaning. I believe that there is no better scriptural passage than 1 Corinthians 13 to bring clarity to love in its truest form.
1Co 13:1  If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
1Co 13:2  If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
1Co 13:3  And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
1Co 13:4  Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
1Co 13:5  does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
1Co 13:6  does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
1Co 13:7  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1Co 13:8  Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
1Co 13:9  For we know in part and we prophesy in part;
1Co 13:10  but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
1Co 13:11  When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
1Co 13:12  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
1Co 13:13  But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Paul tells us that all of the spiritual gifts, including tongues (so highly regarded by the Corinthian people) and prophecy paled in comparison to Love. He said that when prophecy ceased, love would still prevail. He gave instance of the virtuosity of love.
 Love calls for one to exude patience in dealing with others, even when they are wrong. It requires one to forgive when the deepest part of them desires to hold on to hurt. Love demands that we relinquish the natural proclivity to put ourselves first. Love believes in others when all have forsaken them. Love bears the failures of another with patience and gentleness. Love declares nothing will break the bond that has been established.
So when the world sees a man of God, they should see one that exemplifies the love of God. This is a part of the design. How many of us are living up to the design? We cannot aptly address IFS until we address this failure to fulfill the design. Let’s make sure that we understand that there is not a failure in the design, but a failure in fulfilling it. The design has become flawed by the sin nature, but that issue was rectified at Calvary. So, once again; there can be no excuses.
Another major characteristic of God is his incessant faithfulness.
Deu 7:9  “Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;
1Co 10:13  No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
The Word of God is consistent in its establishing His faithfulness to His creation. We can see through the entire Old Testament the rebellious Nation of Israel as they constantly moved opposite the will of God, yet God remained faithful to His covenant with them. Even after the Jews rejected Christ, God set them aside and interpolated the Church age, however, he did not break his covenant with them, He simply delayed the fulfillment of that covenant until the tribulational period before Christ’s millennial reign. God has repetitively proven his faithfulness to the Church as well. The Word says that he is immutable, which means that he cannot change, so his faithfulness is perpetually executed throughout time.
We as Christian men must display this same faithfulness in our lives. We must keep our word and honor the covenants that we make with others and especially God. Our faithfulness speaks to our integrity. It is the cornerstone of our Character. When we introspectively analyze our behavior we should see the reflection of Christ in ourselves. Are we fulfilling the design?
Another characteristic of God is that of a loving and caring Father; a father that is caring, nurturing, protective, and providential. He is our Abba Father.  He covers us in our moments of vulnerability. He nurtures us with His Word, and yes, he chastens us when we rebel. Even his chastening comes for the purpose of improving us. God, as our Father is always present.
“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
God designed us to represent Him before men, to represent His love, patience, and character. We have failed in this purpose and responsibility. We have allowed world views that foster secular paradigms to infiltrate the ranks of the Christian faith. Nihilism: the belief that life has no ultimate meaning; Relativism: the belief that truth is relative to the individual and the time and place in which one acts; there are no absolute or objective truths; Secular Humanism: a worldview based on atheism and naturalism in which man is the measure or standard of all things. This places man, not God, as the ultimate norm by which truth and morals are to be determined; Ethical Relativism: The belief that no absolute moral code exists and therefore man determines what is right in each situation according to his private judgment. These are just several of the philosophies that have found their way into the tenets of Christianity. With the surge of worldly philosophies, we have witnessed a steady decline in morality within the church and a measurable loss in effectiveness to minister.
It sounds crazy, but the world has lost faith in the people of faith. There was a time in which unbelievers looked to believers to set the moral standard, but somewhere along the way, we became distracted by the machinations of the enemy. We lost our way and became indistinguishable from those we were called to convert. The once extended respect the world had for the church has become swallowed up in the failure of the man of God to live Holy.
I am extending a call to every Christian man that reads this passage to rise up and live to the standard of your design. You have been designed for so much more than absentee fatherhood. You have been designed for so much more than mediocrity. You have been designed for so much more than being the bearer of dwarfed goals and the perpetuator of infinite pain. You were designed for greatness. You were designed for optimal function within the plan of God. You were designed to be the expressed image of God. I am starting with me. Today I stand and declare myself to be a part the fellowship of Godly men that refuse to be drawn in by the enemy. I stand alongside of any that will walk unashamed and undeterred by the tactics of the enemy.
      For those that are willing to make this commitment with me today, I promise that through us God will make a difference. Through us God will re-establish His people as a distinct and separate people. The great revivalist John Wesley once said, “Give me 100 men that fear no one but God and hate nothing but sin and we will change the world.” On that very premise I founded 100 Men of Purpose, an organization dedicated to leading men back into their God ordained roles as we ignite a revolutionary revival. Join me as we move forward.
Bishop Rick Wallace