Whose Image Do You Bear?

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

Why am I here? Every soul seeks an answer to this question. Every heart cries out for purpose. And yet most find the answer elusive. Many live their whole lives without discovering it.

But you don’t have to wait your whole life, beloved. I’m going to tell you today.

You exist to reveal God.

It’s true. God created you to reveal His glory—His very nature. You see, God created man and woman to reveal who He is.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth…” Genesis 1:27-28

Beloved, when God repeats Himself, He wants us to take notice. God blessed mankind to multiply and fill the earth with all that He is.

We were supposed to reveal His image, dear one. His love. His joy. His peace. His patience. His gentleness. His faithfulness. His kindness. His goodness. His self-control. His unity. His life.

God created man as an earthly expression of who He is. The same oneness shared by Father, Son and Holy Spirit joined man with God in beautiful fellowship. And life flowed unhindered on earth through our perfect union with our Creator.

Until the serpent slithered into Eden and convinced Adam and Eve to separate from God by disobeying His word. Man exchanged truth for deception, and our enemy planted a new seed—the seed of sin— in man’s heart. That new seed changed the fruit we produce. Now, instead of revealing God’s character, we display His enemy’s nature.

Beloved, the fruit of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)—given by God to nourish, grow, and produce abundant life—has been replaced by sin’s fruit.

  • Love became selfishness that bred hate.
  • Sorrow overtook our joy.
  • Instead of peace, we naturally worry.
  • Instead of patience, anger erupts.
  • In place of kindness, we hurt people.
  • Evil has overrun goodness.
  • Faithfulness withers into doubt.
  • Harshness crushes gentleness, and self-control is all but lost.

God’s image on earth has been overshadowed, beloved. Instead of mankind revealing God’s loving and giving nature, we bear our enemy’s self-centered one. And devastation increases as God’s blessing over man proves itself.

You see, when God speaks, nothing can render His Word void. And God blessed man to bear fruit, multiply, and fill the earth.

So man continues to bear fruit. And that fruit multiplies and increases. But instead of giving and sustaining life in God’s image, the fruit man produces destroys it.

We see the evidence of sin’s increasing nature as violence becomes commonplace in our world. Hatred divides and separates, and terror claims innocent lives with growing frequency.

Mankind reveals our enemy’s nature with increasing measure.

But here’s the good news. God didn’t leave us alone to reap the consequences of our sin. He sent Jesus to conquer the sin in man’s heart through the cross and restore us to God’s image.

Beloved, Jesus enabled us,

…to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24

Christ has empowered us to fulfill our true purpose. We can once again reveal God’s image. Jesus restored our ability to produce godly fruit that reveals God’s character.

Beloved, only the church can counter evil’s rise on earth. Believers must submit to God’s Spirit within them and fill the earth with God’s image. His nature displaying itself on earth produces life and peace.

Only the church can counter evil's rise on earth. Let Jesus reveal His image in you. Click To Tweet

“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” John 15:8

I have to ask, dear one. Whose image do you bear? Does the fruit your heart produces resemble God’s character? Or are you still overcome by selfishness, worry, anger, and sorrow?

Christ endured the cross to make your heart love again. He suffered so you could be healed. He gave you His own peace to ease your worry.

Do you experience His gifts of grace? Or have you rejected them in favor of your old nature?

Living from your old nature will only cost you, beloved. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. Jesus came to restore you to life.

Don’t live the rest of your life in the desert, dear one. Let God show you who you really are. As you step into your redeemed nature, the life of God will manifest though you. And you will show the world who He is.

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe. Ephesians 1:16-19

Know who you are, beloved, so you can show the world who God is.

The God of Glory

“Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”   Isaiah 43:6-7

For centuries man has scoured the earth and beyond in search of elusive answers to these haunting questions: Why am I here? What is my purpose?

Scripture settles the matter in one succinct sentence. God created you for His glory.

I’ll let the thought settle on you for a moment.  Your existence—your entire reason for being—centers on one, eternal purpose: the glory of God. No wonder man finds himself driven to relentlessly pursue glory. He was made for it.  Yet man’s quest for glory never truly satisfies the soul.  The glory he chases can’t quiet the longing; the deceiver has convinced man to abandon God’s glory for his own.

Your heart cries out for the glory of God, dear one. It longs to encounter it, to be filled by it. You see, that’s exactly what God’s glory does. It fills.

. . . the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2:14

Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Psalm 72:19

God’s glory fills wherever He dwells. He sits enthroned above the earth (Isaiah 40:22), and the heavens declare His glory (Psalm 19:1). Yet amazingly, in His great love for humanity, God desires to dwell among men.

He spoke these incredible words to Moses after delivering Israel out of Egypt,

“ . . . have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.”  Exodus 25:8

God gave detailed instructions to Moses for the building of His tabernacle, and Moses did as God commanded Him.

. . . And so Moses finished the work. Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Exodus 40:33-35

I wonder how the people felt as they witnessed the sight. What comfort it must have given to observe God’s nearness with their eyes! Yet the gift of God’s glory was not given for nearness alone. He meant to lead them into His extraordinary purpose for them.

In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel during all their travels.  Exodus 40:36-38

God’s glory consumed the place where He dwelled and led His people into their Promised Land. Later King Solomon built a temple in Jerusalem to house the LORD’s glory. When he had finished its construction, he offered up a prayer of dedication before all of Israel. In the midst of his praise, these words erupted from his lips.

“But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!”  1 Kings 8:27

Indeed, how can a structure built by human hands truly contain the glory of God?

2 Chronicles 7 describes what happened at the conclusion of Solomon’s prayer.

When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.  The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it.  When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying,

“He is good; his love endures forever.” 

(verses 1-3)

Imagine the sight! Fire descended from heaven to consume their sacrifices as God’s glory filled the temple. And as the watching people beheld God’s glory engulfing His new dwelling, their knees hit the pavement and their faces hit the ground.

The prophet Ezekiel had a similar experience when God gave him a vision,

I looked and saw the glory of the Lord filling the temple of the Lord, and I fell facedown. Ezekiel 44:4

The sight of God’s glory filling His dwelling place brings people to their knees. Dear one, if you belong to Jesus, you have become the temple of the LORD.

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?   1 Corinthians 3:16

Consider what that truth means for you, beloved. Jesus—the radiance of God’s glory (Hebrews 1:3)— has given His glory to all who believe in Him (John 17:22). His glory no longer inhabits walls of gold, marble or stone. God’s glory now dwells within the hearts of His children. God inhabits the vessels He Himself  “created for [His] glory, whom [He] formed and made” (Isaiah 43:7).

You were created to house the glory of God, and now His glory dwells within you. Based on the precedent set in Scripture, God intends to fill you with that glory.

 “I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,” says the Lord Almighty.  Haggai 2:7

What if you and I committed to seek the LORD for the revelation of His glory? What if we began to fervently pray for God to fill His house? What if we truly surrendered our hearts to God, presenting ourselves as living sacrifices, and invited the fire of God to consume all that inhibits the unveiling of His glory within us?

As the glory of the LORD fills His dwelling place, all who see it will fall to their knees.