July 14, 2019 | John Belt, Elijah List
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)
We see in the beginning that God created man in His own image and likeness. Before the fall of man, Adam and Eve reflected that image of God in fullness. They walked in the presence of God, not having a “self-awareness” in the sense of having to fix themselves (Genesis 3:8). The glory of God surrounded them in the Garden of Eden, which literally means “the garden of pleasures.” After the fall, although physically they still had an essence of God’s image, it was now distorted by sin as they now fell short of “His glory.” “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”(Romans 3:23)…
It is a process of restoration from glory to glory where we behold God and become those who shine with His radiance as was His original intent. Ultimately we will be completely like Him as we will be with Him, seeing Him as He is. What image we project is a big deal. That is why God wants us transformed into His image and likeness. There are two sides to this coin. One side is about our intake of the knowledge of God. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Proverbs 23:7; Matthew 12:34). The other side of this coin is about the relationship. This is our communion with God through the Holy Spirit.
“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.'” (Isaiah 55:8-9)…
As Believers in Jesus, we have been issued an invitation to live a life of holiness before God – to be set apart like He is. To be totally and radically different than the world. What is very important to realize is how that holiness occurs because the method by which you are attempting to “be holy” makes all the difference.
Only one method truly works. How does holiness happen in our lives? It happens by relationship with God through the Holy Spirit – inside out. After all, His first name is “Holy.” That should be a big clue. Could that be the reason Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they could be clothed with power, receiving the Spirit?
“For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.” (2 Corinthians 13:4)
This power of the Spirit not only enabled them to perform all the miracles, signs and wonders but also enabled them live “set apart” to God. Where Peter had failed in denying the Lord before, things would now be different because of the power of the Spirit in his life. Peter now had boldness to speak the truth in the love of God as he preached the Good News….
“Give to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!” (1 Chronicles 16:29)
Remember that holiness is a beautiful thing because that is the essence of God – He is holy. We are extremely blessed to receive such an invitation to His House with the vehicle of His Word and Spirit to take us there. God has not called us to dry religion but the living waters of His presence – where we can come and drink at any time….
Eat of His Words and drink of His Spirit! In doing this you cannot help but discover life-changing transformation into His very image!
(Excerpted from Elijah List.)