Created in His Image
You’ve heard it and so have I, “If God is God, why is there so much ________ in the world?”
You’ve also likely heard one of the common responses… “Because of man’s choice.”, “Because man is sinful.” or “Because of sin in the world.” There are a number of similar responses, and neither are necessarily wrong, but I read something recently that shed new light on all of those responses and it’s worth sharing.
A Great Daily Devotional
Although I’ve had it for a while, I recently dove back into “Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence”, by Sara Young (link below). She made a statement in her September 6th entry that caught my attention. I’ll give it to you the way I summarized it in my journal:
God could overrule our freewill to get us to always act “properly”, but that freewill is a godlike privilege that comes to us because we are His image-bearer.
We are God’s image-bearer… what a thought!
Created in His Image
Young bases her thought on the verses from the Creation account of Genesis 1:26-27 which say:
“Then God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness and let him have dominion … so God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female, he created them.” (see also Gen. 5.1 and Gen. 9.6)
Herein lies the issue. We were created in God’s image and we were given dominion.
First off… Do you realize the importance of that concept? … you were created in God’s image.
Very often, in Christian circles, we’re confronted with our sinful nature, presented as the “base point” of every individual; the starting point… the basic nature. I don’t disagree with that, Romans 3.23 makes it clear that we are all born with a sinful nature: “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” However, in focusing too much on this, we can forget that at the very beginning, before the entry of sin into the world, we were created in the image of God. We are His image-bearers.
Flag Bearers & Image Bearers
2016 was an Olympic year and we saw, in both the opening and closing ceremonies, the parade of Athletes entering the stadium. Each athlete proudly bore the colors of their country, but there is something special about the flag bearer. They bore the colors of their nation in a way that was different from their fellow athletes…. they bore the flag.
Similarly, while God created everything that we see around us, one thing separates us from the rest of His creation. Not only did He create us in his image, but only of man does the Bible say that he became a living soul “When God breathed into him the breath of life.” (Gen. 2.7)
We bear his likeness in a way that the rest of creation does not. The Amplified Bible says that he created us to be “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated (or separated) nation, a [special] people for God’s own possession.” (1 Peter 2.9, “or separated” is my addition for clarification). Free will is part of that distinction.
Friend, you and I have a powerful heritage! Which invites a unique response.
Perhaps if I truly understood the fact that I was created in God’s image I would have less tendency to give in to the elements of the sinful nature that constantly work to pull me down.
The Problem of Dominion
If mankind is so wonderful… then we still need to know “Why is there so much ______ in the world?” I think it lies in the question of Dominion. Let’s reread Genesis 1.26
“Then God said, let us make man in our image, …and let him have dominion.”
Dominion, it was mankind’s first responsibility, leaving a powerful tendency in us to dominate. But what happens if you and I both want to dominate in a particular situation? If neither one of us is prepared to back down… there will be conflict. Whether on a personal level, a business level or a political level.
The Bible has principles that govern all areas of human interaction and if we would take advantage of them, on both sides of the table, I think that we’d see a whole lot less of “_________ in the world.” Don’t you?
The problem lies in our incredible heritage. We’re created in God’s image with the capacity of freewill. Meaning that we can make an effort to apply biblical principles to our relationships or we can spend all our energy, determined to dominate…. at the cost of relationships.
I pray that you see yourself in terms of your heritage today, an image-bearer of God with all of the privileges and the responsibilities that come with it.
If you’re interested, click here to find
“Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence” on Amazon.uk“
Mike Long is a Canadian pastor living in France and who blogs over at AIMLong.ca. He loves God, his family, small backyard animals, travel and mobile photography.
He is grateful for the opportunity to guest-post for Maria here on Health from one Heart to Another
Categories: Devotional Friday