|"Man was made in the image of God, in the likeness of God, not to become God in the place of God."
IF YOU WALK BACKWARDS on a treadmill, you’re going to end up on your rump. If you swim upside down, you will have to either come up for air, at some point, or you will drown. A man can only drive a car until he runs out of gas. Then he’d better have a good pair of shoes. The problem with today’s secular culture is a need to do what, in the end, is destructive. And just as inane or careless as these examples.
I once watched my husband walk down a ladder, facing outwards, without using any handholds, and he didn’t miss a beat. This can be done with a little practice (or a lot of practice), but what people outside of Christ are trying to do to satisfy themselves is what only God can do. The only way to life’s peace and satisfaction is the Savior. Now, I know this sounds a little canned. I was young once and forced to attend all the church events my parents went to, and I didn’t get it. That was for them and a little weird, I thought. We changed churches, and I didn’t get why. I was happy where we were. Then, age twenty-something, I declared the Bible was boring. This middle-income Southern white girl didn’t understand Jesus.
I thought I knew who I was and who I wanted to be. I thought I had my life under control. Truth was, I was square dancing on stilts. For all I thought I knew, when life handed me a time bomb, I turned the only direction that made sense. Somewhere in what I was supposed to know from all that time at church was freedom, and I found it on my face, begging Jesus.
There are one million ways to success, and an equal number of incorrect ways to become immortal. Men have been speculating and coming up with their own ideas since sin entered the earth in the garden. Come Noah’s flood, the entire earth thought they knew how, then afterward, different cultures began to write their own versions. Even Israel fell into this with the golden calf. There they were worshiping the work of their own hands when they’d seen what the only living God would do to save them.
Man without God is intelligent and deceived at the same time. Book knowledge may advance your career, but eternity doesn’t come from the mind. Man was made in the image of God, in the likeness of God, not to become God in the place of God. I can walk outside and kiss the light pole, that doesn’t make it human. Age elementary, I had an invisible pet dog. It wasn’t real, and I knew it wasn’t real. I pretended it was anyway.
We, in the church, those who have confessed Jesus as Savior and Lord, are not drawing boxes for those who believe a tree or an ape or a worm started all of life. Nor are we making a checklist for nonbelievers to live by. But we need to see the difference in us. Man without God will make dumb choices for dumb reasons and end up where God never intended man to be. Man with God is meant to be so close to Him, we can feel His heartbeat. You have to have your hand on someone to do that. And be sitting still.
We’re meant to hear Him speaking and not have any doubt it’s Him. We should be aware of His breath in us when He doesn’t speak at all. This is God’s heart. The Father sent the Son to earth so that mankind could be saved from the destruction of sin’s choices, could know the enemy was the enemy, and could be filled with the Spirit, so full of God that we never think like we did before Him. Then we’ll stop swinging from electric wires and calling that power, stop changing our gender and calling that satisfaction, stop defending our right to do what is killing us, all the while begging for tolerance.
Man without God kills the unborn. The most innocent of life, which no man can make without God’s life causing it to grow.
Man with God is filled with His presence and overflows with a heart of compassion. We should look at those doing backflips with wrong ideas, and feel what Jesus feels. He hates the devil and demons. He loves people. We roll our eyes at them. He seeks the lost sheep. The Scripture says the religious leaders around Him grew angry when people were healed and could only think He needed to die. So He died. But not because they’d won some victory framed by their demonic ideas. He died because He was the truth they couldn’t see, and only through His death and Resurrection would they be forgiven for the twisted reasons for sending Him there.
We’re not talking personal likes and dislikes. You can wear flipflops with socks if you want to. No, it’s that people living without Jesus are walking straight toward hell and seeing an oasis. The devil has deceived them into thinking they’re eating steak when he’s been spoon-feeding them offal. We must lean into the Holy Spirit and do as He directs us to do, as the church, and as children of God. Both corporately and individually, our words and actions should be His and not those made from our own opinions. Because they can’t see how they are and will defend their right to do the wrong thing the wrong way, not believing in the consequences, even when falling down under the weight of them.
Their lives are valuable to God. If we’ve truly heard Him, we’d weep for them. Pray for them. That is what makes us the glorious church, without spot or wrinkle, that Jesus will come back for. His bride will be like Him, seek for Him, show the World who He is, in unity as believers, His voice on our lips and not our own.
“So come to me, all who are tired, worn down and exhausted from fear, selfishness and fighting to survive on your own, and I will give you rest. Join up with me and learn my methods—the principles upon which life is built to operate—for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find healing and rest for your souls. For joining up with me and living in harmony with the way life is designed to operate is what makes life easy and lightens life’s burdens.” (Matthew 11:28-30, Remedy)
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Suzanne D. Williams, Author