The first thought I had was that we need to define what a mandate is. According to the dictionary, "mandate" means "an official order or commission to do something". Another interesting definition in the dictionary is this one: "a written authority enabling someone to carry out transactions on another's bank account". I have heard an interesting parable by Bill Johnson in which he states that Jesus has left us a spiritual credit card; we have His authority to use His Name to accomplish signs and wonders for the Kingdom. In both instances, we have been given authority and a commission in which we can walk out the calling on our lives by our Creator.
I believe there is both a mandate for all men, and a mandate for each individual, and they are intertwined. The former is the same for all, while the latter may differ depending on what God has purposed for your life. Genesis 1:28 clearly tells us the mandate God has given to all mankind: Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground. Being fruitful and multiplying is far more than just producing offspring to fill the earth, although God did intend for mankind to reproduce and take dominion and authority over His creation.
But if we look at what it means to be fruitful, on the most basic level, it is to produce fruit from a seed. God made each of us in His image and planted a seed within us that He expects to bear fruit. But He didn't make us all alike, so I'm thinking that each of our seeds may be different, but all are a divine aspect of the Person of God. Therefore, the fruit we produce is going to be different. These seeds are designed to grow within us due to our relationship with Him, and will result in the particular purpose He has designed for our life.
I'm thinking about Moses, for instance. It was God's promise that the Israelites [His chosen people] would be delivered from their bondage in Egypt to a Promised Land of milk and honey. And the Lord chose Moses to be the instrument of His deliverance; Moses was born with that seed inside him. But we can see that Moses did not always walk the shortest path to God's plan and purpose in his life. Yes, Moses guided his people through the Exodus; was entrusted with God's Law; foreshadowed the work of the Messiah, as Jesus attested to in John 13:14-15; was listed among the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11; and was so honored by God that the Father, Himself, buried him.
Yet, we see that Moses often stalled his destiny and then missed the mark when he didn't fully honor God's holiness at the waters of Meribah. Moses failed to recognize the water-giving rock as the Living Water of Christ. He was to speak to the rock and it would bring forth the much-needed water. Moses made two mistakes... he spoke to the rock, but also struck the rock with his rod of iron, and he did not give the credit for the miracle to God, but absent-mindedly took credit for it himself and with Aaron [must we bring water for you out of this rock?]. God's holiness must never be compromised! And I know it broke God's heart to tell Moses, “Because you did not trust Me enough to demonstrate My holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!”
So, do I think God's mandate or direction for Moses' life changed? No. I do not believe God would ever change an original purpose for our life [which would yield only good for His Kingdom and for us] to a lesser promise or destiny because we missed the mark. It was Moses' lack of revelation [and perhaps a touch of frustration and pride] that God's purpose at Meribah was not fulfilled.
It is important that we know and understand our responsibility in being productive and producing fruit from the seed of the Lord that has been planted in each of us. After all, a seed is of little use until it starts yielding fruit. And God has given us the ability to know Him and to be fed and nourished so that we yield an abundant harvest for the Kingdom through the way we live our lives. The importance of fulfilling our mandate is pretty evident in Matthew 21:19, He noticed a lone fig tree by the side of the path and walked over to see if there was any fruit on it, but there was none—he found only leaves. So he spoke to the fig tree and said, "You will be barren and will never bear fruit again!” Instantly the fig tree shriveled up right in front of their eyes!" It was always Jesus's mandate for the tree to produce leaves. His mandate didn't change, but somehow the tree failed to produce.
So while God's mandate on our lives might not change, we can certainly stall it, interrupt it, delay it; even sabotage it due to lack of fruit in our spiritual lives; or not fully comprehending who we are in Christ; or by incorrectly interpreting His revelations or simply ignoring them. The beauty of our creation is that God gave us free will to make the right choices, which always glorify Him; but our free will can also be the stumbling block to God receiving the glory He deserves. As we become intent on becoming fruitful, we will grow spiritually, our identity in Christ will be unshakeable, and we will clearly hear Him as He directs our path. His mandate, which was planted in us from the start, will come to pass and we will accomplish what He had planned from the beginning. Nothing will make God more pleased than to see us fulfilling His plan for us.
Ephesians 2:10 We have become His poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny He has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it!