Friday, April 2, 2021

Image of God

Can you or do you see God? Scripture tells us that if we see God we will die. Elijah went out on a mountain in 1 Kings 19 to watch God pass by. He was not in the powerful wind or earthquake, but in the still small voice or whisper. We are told that John fell on his face in Revelation when he was before Jesus. Jesus Christ was made incarnate so that man could have a sense of what God looks like. We are made in His image and likeness Genesis 3 states. The second commandment says do not make any graven image of God or an idol to worship. We so often try to do so to get a hold of Him or even to pretend that we can control or put God in a box. But God is spirit. His image is veiled to protect us, but His word is vibrantly presented to describe God and tell us His will. 

Many will never see or experience God in their hearts, although this is His desire. “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). There it is, the gospel of Christ, the “Light of the World.”  I have certainly seen Spirit-filled people who somehow reflect the heart or face of God like Moses did when he came down from Mount Sinai after meeting with God. Perhaps it is not the Shekinah glory of God that the transfigured Jesus emanated, but there can be a sweet aura or reflection that is beautiful.

This pinhole image taken by my cousin Douglas F. Frank in the Badlands of South Dakota is part of a collection that he generously provided for our project Great is God’s Faithfulness: A Devotional Based on The Psalms. I wrote in it a devotional based on Psalm 139 entitled Dreams, where David wonders if he can ever go from God’s Spirit. The bottom line is that he could not and neither can we. God is omnipresent and “hems us in.” I think that is a wonderful truth because His “hand will guide me, and His right hand will hold me fast.” (Psalm 139:10). He is everywhere and omniscient, knowing all, and omnipotent, all-powerful too. How do we describe such a person?  We can’t, even though there are characteristics or attributes of God that are true. He is faithful, mighty, merciful, loving, infinite, changeless, good, graceful, transcendent, just, pure and perfect. Is this photo an image of God? Perhaps it is in a way providing an almost transcendent, ethereal or even heavenly visage of God.  Writer David Duncan describes the photo as having a “passionate stillness or ferocious peace.”  I like this characterization of God in an image.  It is not to worship but to take you or me to a place of reverence and peace where we can find God.

I have experienced the presence of God in miraculous healing. I have seen images in my minds eyes of God high and lifted up with flowing robes filling all space like Isaiah 6:1 tries to describe. I see God in His creation of mountains, valleys, oceans, Redwood trees and a blanket of white snow or crying baby.  I hear Him in the wind and rain. I have heard His voice audibly only once saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” which is actually from His written Word, the Bible, Isaiah 30:21. I experience Him both exalted as well as warm and near with my tears running down His face, tears we can taste. Do you see Him too? How do you see Him? Where do you see Him? Let us count the ways.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.