If you’ve spent much time in Christian community, you’ve probably heard a familiar phrase that gets tossed around a bit.
“You are made in His image.”
When I first started intentionally living out my faith, I heard this phrase often but never really knew how it applied directly to me. God is perfect. He is all-knowing. He is powerful and almighty, while I am a broken sinner. I am human. Because all humans look different, being a direct mirror image of Him might be out of the question, especially as a woman.
So what does it mean to be made in His image?
Genesis 1:26-27 says, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; he created them male and female” (HCSB).
God created man and woman in His image, in His likeness. One of my favorite ways the significance of this phrase has been described is in Jen Wilkin’s book, In His Image. She says, “Everything we say or do will either illuminate or obscure the character of God. Sanctification is the process of joyfully growing luminous. Through Christ and by the Spirit, we have regained access to God’s presence. And the result is the glorious reclamation of the image of God in man.”
So what does it mean to be made in His image? It means we bear a likeness to Him. We are like Him in the same way the moon is like the sun. The sun is so bright that we can’t look directly at it without becoming temporarily blinded, but we can look directly at the moon, because the moon simply reflects the brightness of the sun.
God is so glorious that humans can’t look directly at Him. Remember when Moses was given the incredible opportunity to go face-to-face with Him? His face was so radiant that it scared the Israelites, so he had to put a veil over it (Exodus 34:29-35).
Not only do we reflect God’s image, but we also have the opportunity and responsibility to reflect His character. Will we ever get it right all of the time? No. We are only an image of Him. We just have to decide if we are going to use that to reflect His character or obscure it.
I would also love to take this opportunity to let you know that on May 14-15, 2021, Jen Wilkin will be at London Bridge Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, VA. She is going to be speaking on her book, In His Image, and will further dive into what this means for us. How do we live lives that illuminate God? Come and find out!
Not only will Jen be speaking, but our friends over at Lifeway will be providing a pre-conference Lifeway Women’s Training Event on Friday, May 14.
We would love for you to join us!
You can register or find more information here.