To have dominion is to rule. At the highest level, it means that man understands that he has a free will and a measure of power delegated to him by God and that he is charged with using that free will and power responsibly.
Psalm 8:6-8 6Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: 7All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; 8The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
But some men fail to recognize that.
John 19:10-11 10Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? 11Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
Even though man has repeatedly failed to exercise dominion well, that doesn’t mean that God failed in His design. The way one rules is determined by the character of the one ruling.
When Adam sinned, he forfeited dominion to Satan who became the prince of the power of the air. The Dominion Mandate is still in force even though it has been greatly affected by man’s sin. The mandate came from God, and God will never cede total dominion to Satan, although Satan certainly has the power to influence man to use the mandate for fleshly, carnal purposes.
While most fail to recognize the biblical basis for the mandate, it is still in effect and indirectly authorizes all honorable occupations – science, technology, medicine, commerce, government, education, the arts, etc. God’s intent was for it to benefit mankind and to honor Him.
We are God’s stewards. He has charged us to be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish (fill) the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth (Genesis 1:28). May you and I as believers do our part well.