While we talked a little about this last year, I thought it might be good to drill down a bit on why we have this longing for spiritual fulfillment – that desire to know things beyond ourselves. That can only come when we can answer real questions about our origins – the real origin. So, what does it mean to be made “in The Father’s image”? The Hebrew word used for image in this verse from Genesis is tselem. Its meaning comes from a word that means “to shade or color, or make a resemblance or representative figure.” An image is like a reflection in a mirror. It is similar to, or a representation of, the original. Jeremiah prophesied (31:33) and Christ taught that the likeness or image of God is what is in our minds and hearts; the connotation is that your wholeness is like His. The image passed to you by your Father is not just a physical image, but a moral one.
The Father wants us to be holy, loving, trustworthy, just, good, peaceful, and joyful—just as He is. He wants our spiritual image to reflect His image. Our spiritual guide helps us transform the way we think as we meditate on Scripture. The Father then opens the doors to its meaning, wisdom and promises as needed – clarifying His image to us. At the point of salvation, believers connect, and become able to tap into the complete image of the Father. In other words, the gas can flow from the pump to the tank. From that moment forward, they begin to fill their spiritual cavities as they are exposed to different aspects of Kingdom life. As Paul put it, you, the believer, are “made new in the attitude of your mind; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:23 – 24) Unfortunately, not every person taps into their true image because “[t]he god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)
Sometimes, understanding is achieved by learning what something is not rather than what it is. The definition for “image” does not say that an image is a duplicate. Duplicates do not exist in the visible or invisible Kingdom of God. The Father did not duplicate Himself in Christ or the Holy Spirit any more than you are a duplicate of your mom or dad. That is why you must be able to see the differences and learn how to commune with each member of The God Family. Communication and love will flow freely between you and the Father as you focus on your compatibilities. In order to be all you were created to be, you must become the image He had in mind for you.
As He uniquely shaped you, the Father envisioned a plan for your life and then ensured that you would be equipped with everything you would need to face any challenge life had to offer. He handpicked your parents because they had the exact genetic code necessary. He picked the culture you would live in to form the basis of a unique personality that would allow you to find enjoyment and satisfaction in all aspects of your life, including your job and hobbies. (Ecclesiastes 5:19 – 19) The Father, knowing the starting template was perfect, did not desire an army of robots, so He gave everyone freedom of choice. He wanted you to have the liberty of deciding how to use His resources. In developing the following mindset, you fulfill the image He designed for you:
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is Yours, O LORD, and this is Your Scripture. We adore you as the One who is over all things. Riches and honor come from You alone, for You rule over everything. Power and might are in Your Hand, and it is at Your discretion that people are made great and given strength. (1 Chronicles 29:11 12)
The Father knew this freedom would provide you with the ability to use, as well as abuse or ignore, your unique talents. He also knew that if one abused or ignored his gifts, he would end up despising his life—or many aspects of it. This usually occurs when we compare what He gave us with what He gave to others. The Father’s love demands that you choose how you are going to manage your version of His image and your accompanying assets. What you do with that image brings about the lightness or heaviness of the yoke or burden described by Christ. (Matthew 11:29 – 30)
God started with a plan for who you are, where you would live and what environment would be best for you. He also knew that since you were created in His tselem you would need Him, but he was going to leave that choice up to you. Choose wisely. Know His wisdom was good.