Genesis 1:28 says, ‘And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man] and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.’ (Amplified) This was the very first instruction that God gave to man, to be fruitful and then that he should multiply. The first part of the mandate was for increase and multiplication.
With this God illustrated the sequential pattern of growth. First, the gradual or arithmetic growth i.e. where one measure is increased to two then three etc. The next stage is multiplication this is the growth phase where you begin to take quantum leaps in life endeavours (i.e. geometric or exponential growth) this type of growth fills your life, family and environment until its impact is felt all over the earth i.e. you can be said to be replenishing the earth.
The transforming effect of your activities fills your environment. Here you begin to use the vast resources of the earth (which you have hitherto accessed in the preceding stages of growth) in the service of God and man.
All these stages are a build up to the stage of dominion where we really come into the fullness of the stature of Christ.
At this stage, we enter into the fullness of the government of Christ as stated in Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
The process, as outlined by God, starts from increase through multiplication to dominion because it is impossible to have dominion with a minority mentality. This is because there is a certain level of capacity that an individual or organisation must have before they can attain dominion in their environment. Without the attainment of this level of capacity, all the activities within such an organisation or in such an individual’s life will be largely theoretical. There will be no practical results achieved.
This principle could be seen at work in Noah’s life (Gen 6:14-16). He had to build an ark of appropriate dimensions and capacity before a remnant of all creatures in the earth could be saved. Joseph also had to devise a plan on how to increase capacity ahead of the famine. This capacity enabled him to be used by God in saving the world from being wiped out.
As seen by both patriarchs (who built capacity before either the flood or famine began and ended up having dominion in their different dispensation), there is the need for us to ensure that we stay committed to our personal growth. This is because it will be too late to build our ark after the rains have begun.