Made In His Image – Made for His Purpose
As a young girl, later as a teen and college student, and even today as a twenty-something wife, one of the most commonly recommended Bible study topics has been one that tells me I am made in God’s image. These studies all provide for women something that we desperately crave: a sense of value. They tell me that because I am made in His image, I am beautiful. They affirm my character and my personality, and lessen those feelings we all secretly harbor: the ones that say I’m “not good enough.”
I have cherished these Bible studies. I’ve come away with warm fuzzies that tell me I matter. I’ve been so grateful that such an amazing God could love me so much that He created me to bear HIS image! I’ve sat at His feet, basked in His presence, and felt….worthy.
These moments have been quite lovely, but recently I’ve had the pleasure of God teaching me a new lesson. It’s one that God reveals a little at a time, but over and over again. You know what I mean – the kind of lesson that pops up a few different times and in different ways and you just can’t escape it. While it hasn’t been audible, but I’ve heard God clearly speaking into my heart, calling me to more than this sense of worth, more than a feeling of beauty. He’s been calling me to a purpose – His purpose.
I am created in His image, but with this gracious privilege comes an even greater responsibility. In the gospels, Jesus was once asked about paying taxes to Caesar. Jesus asked to see a coin and, holding the coin up, asked whose image appeared on the coin. As the Pharisees noted Caesar’s image, Jesus told them to “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Caesar’s image on the coin showed what should be given to Caesar. His image on the coin reflected His authority. We are in God’s image. His image in us reflects His authority over us.
The reflection of God’s character is stamped in our world in a way that we can never even escape it. In fact, His fingerprints are clearly seen in all of Creation (Rom 1:20). God’s nature is painted on every aspect of His Creation, and more specifically—on every aspect of our lives! I am created in His image, and as His image-bearer I have both beauty and worth. However, my worth comes directly from Him alone. I am not worthy of His love, but He loves me still. I am not worthy of His fellowship, yet He seeks me always. He gives me worth, and value, and beauty. But even more—He gives me purpose.
The coin that bore Caesar’s image was to be rendered to Caesar, and God’s image-bearers are to be rendered to Him. To recognize myself as one who holds His image, is a call to ‘render’ myself to the God who created me. As a woman I render not just my actions to Him, but my very being.
– I surrender my womanhood to His purpose, to His calling, and to His design.
– I surrender my marriage to live out the Gospel that it was designed to reveal.
– I surrender my future children, as they will be His image-bearers, too and to lead them only as God leads me.
– I surrender my humanity, and the things of this world, in order to showcase His glory.
– I surrender all that I have, so that His Creation points to Him and not me.
As His image-bearer, I surrender all.
As His image-bearer, I receive worth and beauty from my Creator. But even more beautiful than this sense of value is the wisdom that God’s very hand has knit together a perfect design for my life and my person. Just as an artist develops a masterpiece, God also designed not just my body and personality, but even the tiniest details of my heart and character. He designed my world, my life, and my relationships. He thought of everything, and in return He calls me to surrender my all to His grand master plan—to allow Him to live through me.
It is with tears of joy that I now find an even greater sense of value. I can now look at myself, and rather than seeing an unworthy and flawed woman, I see the King of Glory! I see a God who is more than worthy of those who bear His image. Wrapped in the joy of surrender, I see freedom. I see beauty. I see Him.