My dear friend, Kathi Macias, writes a weekly devotional. The following is one of the devotionals she has recently written. If you are interested in receiving a copy of this devotional in your inbox, head to her webite http://www.kathimacias.com/ to sign-up. Blessings! K
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26).
One of our gravest mistakes is forgetting the foundational truth of Genesis 1:26—that God made US in HIS image, and not the other way around. As a result, we go through life imagining God as some larger version of ourselves.
Personally, I’m not too excited about trusting or serving a God who’s just like me, only bigger. I know me, and I’m not worthy of being trusted or served. Neither are you. When we receive Christ as our Savior and begin to grow in our faith, we become more like Him, and that’s a good thing. But if the situation were reversed and God became more like us, wouldn’t you agree that’s NOT such a good thing?
Yet we reverse the process in our minds, each time we question God. When something doesn’t turn out as we hoped or thought it should, we wonder why God let us down. Isn’t that why unbelievers shake their fists at the heavens and declare, “I will never believe in a God who allows such awful things to happen”? Aren’t they really saying, “I know better than God because my ways are the right ways. If He doesn’t line up with what I expect, then He’s either an evil God, or He doesn’t exist at all.”
But how different are we as believers? I doubt I’m the only one who has heard other Christians proclaim, “When I get to heaven, I’m going to ask God why He…” Fill in the blanks: “allowed my business to fail, my health to deteriorate, my child to die.” We are so finite and myopic while we live on this earth—and so me-centered!—that we actually think God owes us an explanation for things that don’t go our way. In reality, He owes us nothing, but we owe Him everything. As a famous preacher used to say, “After all God has done for us, anyone who goes to hell deserves to be there.”
Ah, there it is—what we really deserve. Not answers or explanations from a non-performing God made in our own image, but separation from Him and an eternity in hell because we have marred the image of God stamped upon us at creation. And that, my friends, is where mercy and grace come in. Remember, mercy is not receiving the bad things we deserve; grace is receiving the good things we don’t deserve.
God is not a heavenly butler in the sky, waiting for us to call on Him, demanding blessings and explanations, but a merciful Judge and Redeemer who loved us enough to create us in His image, and then to extend His mercy and grace to us to begin the image-restoration process when we rejected Him.
What an amazing God—and how grateful I am that I am made in His image, and not He in mine! May we all cooperate with Him in that restoration process so that those who are still shaking their fists at the heavens will look at us and see the awesome and magnificent Lord of the universe shining through.
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