In His Image
You’ve heard about it an innumerable amount of times in your life, whether in school or on the television and the internet; the Big Bang. In an instant all of matter that ever was and will be burst into existence in a flash of light and debris so violent and explosive that it sent matter flying across the vastness of space. After billions and billions of years stars and planets formed and began rotating to create galaxies. One planet in particular stands out among all of the rest; our planet. Earth is born; life slowly creeps into existence, being built up and molded into the lifeforms that could best sustain themselves in the environments that they live in. Then human kind arrives.
Creationists and scientists alike argue over whether or not God did all of this, and on what timeline, but they waste their breath on arguments that hold no real significance to our lives. Those who have faith have no reason to be concerned about the minute details, and those who do not have faith look for answers that they will never find. Each of them arguing over which is right.
“What is your point, Joshua?” you might be wondering. This is my point: The amount of time that it took Him is of no importance, the fact that He did it is. Not only did He create us, in whatever way over how ever much time, but He created us in His image! That is not to say that God is some bipedal, balding bearded man, but rather that who we are is in Him! He is our identity, our hope, our strength! All that we are comes from Him!
When He said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” in GENESIS 1:26, He certainly was not talking about physical appearance, rather He was talking about power and wisdom and understanding!
Essentially saying, “Let us make mankind above everything else, so that they are strong and smart, and capable.”
Somewhere along the line, after centuries upon centuries of halfhearted and double-minded teaching, we have gone from understanding that we are created in His image; one of power, glory, love, hope, and strength! We have traded these things for weakness, and struggles, and trials, and storms, forgetting that He has given us the power to halt the storms, and to overcome the trials!
I’ve said it before, and I will certainly say it again, God did not create us to be overcome! He created us to be overcomers!
“Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears.” He said, “Let the weakling say, ‘I am strong!'” (JOEL 3:10)
He told us that, upon being born again, we are made into something new “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (EPHESIANS 4:24)
Where did we turn away from this understanding? When did it become more important to us to struggle than to overcome? Why is that even a reality to us? The answer is simple; We make it so! We speak it into existence and give it life!
God is creation! It is what He does, and we are created in His image! We are able to create, alter, and command circumstances in our lives simply by how we speak and act! We are born again into power, not into powerlessness!
The evidence of this is in His Word, when He says that, “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.” (MARK 11:23)
The power of God is manifested in us through His Holy Spirit, which was sent to us as a helper and a friend. It is an active and a driving force in our lives, and as long as we live according His ways it WILL be evident in our lives! It was not Paul, or Peter, or any of the other Apostles themselves that were able to heal and to do the things that they did; rather it was the Spirit in them, but they lived lives that were entirely devoted to God, and were not partially devoted to God and partially to the ways of the world.
You have to be careful where you tread when discussing this subject, otherwise you’ll light a fire under someone’s bed and start an argument, but the opinions of mankind do not overrule the truth of God! It was God Who said that He created us in His image, that “anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
We have those that came before us as evidence of what the power of God can do in us and through us, and what our lives should look like; a life of power, and not one of weakness, and a life that is devoted to God and full of His glory! Like Paul said to the Hebrews, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles us. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” (HEBREWS 12:1)
We are told that, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27) Why should the power of God be any less effective in and through us than it was in the Apostles? It was certainly a powerful force in the lives of the Apostles, so much so that even other men wrote of it in writings that were not a part of the Word of God, and that men and women would come from hundreds of miles away just to have even a second of time with these men or to touch their garments to be healed!
It was not that they were able themselves, but that the Spirit worked through them! Why is today any different than then? The year has changed, but the Word and the power of God is the same yesterday, today and forever! Time has nothing to do with the relevance and the impact of the Word and the power of God in our lives! He should be just as visible in us as He was in them!
So many say that they believe, but it is certainly not evident in their lives! They claim God, but they also claim defeat by things in their lives! They say that they love God, but they live like the world lives! They say that they know Him, but they do not keep His commands; whether out of their own opinion on what He is saying, or out of sheer rebellion! This is why His power is not evident! This why He is not seen and felt in the world around us!
When Christ came and sacrificed Himself, and rose again, He didn’t only save us He also made us inheritors with Him! We are inheritors of the power and the glory of God, as much as we are of the kingdom! “Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” (ROMANS 8:17) and “I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” (GALATIANS 2:20) and we are also told that Christ makes His home in us, through faith (EPHESIANS 3:17)
If we say that we believe in God that we accept Christ into our hearts, then we must also understand that we are accepting the fullness of the power and the glory of God into us! It is not some of God’s power, nor a fraction of His glory, but the fullness of!
He said that “He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” (ISAIAH 53:5) and to “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (MATTHEW 7:7).
He told us that “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;” (2 CORINTHIANS 9:8) If His power was not an active force in our lives we would certainly not be “sufficient in all things,” nor would we “have an abundance for every good deed.” This is a direct reference to the power of God working in us! We are given an assurance of this because what God promises, He is able to perform! (ROMANS 4:21) We are created to be a people who are wise, full of understanding and power!
I have heard so many arguments against God, based solely on one question; “If God exists then why doesn’t He cure cancer, or feed the people who are starving in Africa, or stop violent storms from destroying homes and yadda yadda..”
The fact, the absolute biblical truth is that God gave US the ability to do just that! His people, performing His will, living righteous and perfect lives, full of the power and the glory of God!
The words, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” in PHILIPPIANS 4:13 are not figurative! He is telling us that, through Christ in us, we are capable of all things and incapable of nothing!
He wasn’t speaking empty words when He told us “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 PETER 1:13)
There’s a reason He said that “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?” (JAMES 2:14)
The evidence that destroys that argument against God, which says, “If God exists then why doesn’t He cure cancer, feed the people who are starving in Africa, or stop violent storms from destroying homes,” and so on, is in us!!
That is why He said, “Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, ‘Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well’ —but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” (JAMES 2:15-17)
Tell me, why would God send us forth to do anything without enabling to do everything?
There is not one reason, not one excuse that can justify the lack of obedience and action in those that would call themselves the “church!” Nothing aside from laziness, halfheartedness, and double-mindedness are to blame! It is all of these things, to say that you believe in a God Who can create the universe, save your soul, and defeat death but deny His ability to make you into something powerful! To do this is to deceive yourself!
The simple fact is that evil exists in this world! It is there, and it is active all of the time! We should be too! Where evil is, we should be there to cast it down! Where sickness is, we should be there to heal! Where sadness is, we should be there to comfort! Where there is need, we should be there to fulfill it!
We are responsible for being obedient to God in everything that we do, but also for living lives that fulfill the needs of those around us and make God evident to those who are lost in the world!
As long as you serve the world, and yourself, you can never expect to see the power of God as an active force in your life! He requires devotion! He doesn’t ask for it, He demands it! There is no way around that, no thing that you can come up with that will lessen the devotion you are supposed to give! There is no opinion, no word, no thought, no teaching that could ever take away that truth!
It isn’t about what we want God to be like, or what we want Him to be okay with! It does not work that way! We don’t get to decide that! He commands, we obey! If we do this His power will certainly be active in our lives, if we do not then we should expect to receive anything from God!
He said that! “But he must ask in faith, without doubting, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” (JAMES 1:7) Make no mistake, to be double-minded is to be mindful of God and the world! Christ said of this exact thing that, “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.” (1 CORINTHIANS 10:21)
Beloved we are more than weak and powerless! We are the children of God, full of His power and glory! Live a life that reflects that, as much as it reflects His love! You are not called to weakness, but to power! You are not called to shame, but to glory! You are born again, created in the likeness of God! You are capable of everything, and incapable of nothing! You are a child of the Most High, and if He lives in you then nothing can stand against you!