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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Image Bearer

"This is the heart of our enemy. He is determined to hinder and harm and ruin God's image bearer. To steal and kill and destroy. So, let me say this again: the story of our life is the story of the long and brutal assault on your heart by the one who KNOWS what you could be . . . and FEARS it!"
Walking the Dead by John Eldredge)

OK . . . A show of hands . . . who among us is certain that - today - you are adequately bearing the image of God for all to see? . . . anyone? . . .

No? . . . A little? . . . maybe on a good day? . . . sometimes?

In Genesis 1:26 God says: "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness . . ." And here's the thing I've learned about God: He has never spoken a single syllable that He doesn't mean. He has never, not once, been careless with His word.

And He has not changed His mind about us - His image bearers.

We are made in His image. We are His image bearers on this mess of a planet. Our problem is that we look in the mirror with our natural eyes and we trust what they see. And what they see, most often, is not all that 'Godly looking'.

Yet, in the beginning, God decided (without any arm-twisting on our part) to create a people unto Himself and He decided to make them in His own image. In His own image . . . God wanted his children to look like Him - not on the outside, but on the inside.

If you ever run into any one of my five children, you'd have trouble believing that they belong to me - they don't look like me. (My sissy-girl Cajun French genetics were no match for hubby's pure Italian genes) But if you were ever to have a conversation with any of my 5, your doubts would disappear. Deep down, under all the layers of dark Italian skin and dark eyes, are traces of my heart. Some of the things I love, they love. Some of the things that break my heart - also hurt them. Certain traditions that are important to me have become important to them. On any given day they could tell you how I'd react to almost any situation.

The (hidden) genetic contribution is there, and, by living in close proximity to them for years, so also is the spiritual and emotional contribution. It's simply not visible to natural eyes.

It is much the same with God the Father. He has made us in His image. We are eternal, spiritual beings - like our Father. We have an eternal destiny that most Christ followers struggle to believe about themselves. God looks at His blood-bought children, and has this to say about us:

I have made them a kingdom, a royal race,
and priests . . . and they shall reign as kings.

I know, I know . . . I don't "see" it either! But our enemy does! He knows that we are God's image bearers here on this earth but he doesn't want US to really grasp that. He knows that we are part of a royal race of priests and kings. He doesn't want us to understand that as a daughter (or son) of the kingdom, that the power that raised Christ from the dead is at our disposal. He doesn't want us to really believe that moving mountains is part of our birthright. He doesn't want us to discover that as a child of the King, an image bearer of the Creator of all the universe, that he - the enemy - is subject to US and not vice versa.

And so begins the "long and brutal assault on your heart" as John Eldredge writes. In an effort to keep us from fully walking in all of the power and glory and victory and peace that is ours in Jesus, our enemy, Satan, delivers 'cheap shots' to our hearts from every possible direction. In order to assure that we never truly grasp the enormity of being made in the image of our Creator, he peppers all of life with difficult people and situations. And all of this is an effort to distract us from the truth - that our enemy KNOWS and FEARS what we would become if we were ever to agree with the Father about our lineage and begin to walk in it.

It's time to claim what has been bought for us, with a price. Our Father has provided for peace and joy and freedom and victory in the midst of what appears to be our very ordinary lives. But image bearers of the KING do not have to live ordinary lives. Our enemy understands that. Do we?

Eye has not seen nor ear heard all the good things God has made ready and stored up for those who serve Him wholeheartedly! (1 Cor. 2:9)

Now to HIM who by the power that is at work WITHIN US, is able to do super-abundantly far over and above all that we (dare) ask or think (infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams) . . . (Ephesians 3:20)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Father, open our eyes to the truth that we, your children, bear your image upon our lives. Show us, Lord, what it means to display Your image to a lost and dying world. Help us to live and work and love one another in a way that brings glory to Your Name.

In Him...

Visit Darnelle at her personal blog: All Things Work Together...

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Blogger Denise said...

This was really wonderful, bless you.

August 14, 2008 at 12:55 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

This was AWESOME....loved it.

You nailed it, friend.

That book rocked our world when we read it a couple of years ago...

We are the kingdom of darkness...we bear the shadow/image of God.

Thanks for the reminder.


August 14, 2008 at 1:03 AM  
Blogger sailorcross said...

Thank you for reminding me that I am a princess, a daughter of the King!!

And HE is so powerful, so awesome in might!!

When the enemy starts slinging his darts in my direction (which happens every day of my life), I need to remember to call upon the King!!

One thought is that the enemy always uses the same tricks on each of us. He knows which buttons to push to try to move us in his direction. Always the same, and this always begins with "thoughts". I need to always keep this in the forefront of my mind and not act on those thoughts that he has placed in my mind.

August 14, 2008 at 4:49 AM  
Blogger Homesteader in Training said...

Amen sister. That is all I need to think about when lifes troubles start to wear me down. My eternal victory is already won and my eternal home awaits me.

August 14, 2008 at 6:00 AM  
Blogger ChristiS said...

Just the reminder I needed to start off my day! Thank you, and I pray God blesses your day as well!

August 14, 2008 at 6:26 AM  
Blogger 2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Your words are right in line with what/where God is working in my life. Thanks, Darnelle.

August 14, 2008 at 6:39 AM  
Blogger Tiffanie said...

What an awesome insight and reminder of who we are.

One thing I really hope to be able to instill in my children is their worth and identity in Christ.

August 14, 2008 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger windycindy said...

Amen! Thanks for your inspirational thoughts. I appreciate them. Cindi

August 14, 2008 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

What a blessing this was for me this have no idea! Beautiful gift you have there, my friend!

August 15, 2008 at 12:35 AM  

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