|Photo by Melissa Hass|
Worth and Significance
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, in Our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:26-27, NIV
I am a person of great worth and significance, for I am created in the image of God for His glory.
Who were we modeled after? The Hebrew word used here for “image” only appears in the creation account and a couple of other places in Genesis. It comes from a root word meaning “to shade,” and in this usage means a “resemblance.” When the Bible says we were created in the image and likeness of God, it means that God made us to resemble Himself.
You resemble your Father.
But sin wrecked all that, didn’t it? Actually, sin just made us blind to who we were created to be—the image bearers of God. We could not see His image in us or our need for Him. Instead we sought after other images to give us meaning and purpose and definition.
It reminds me of one of my kids’ favorite movies—The Lion King. In the movie, Scar, the evil brother of the lion king Mufasa, plots to kill him and Simba, the new heir to the throne, so that he can become the lion king. Scar tells Simba that his father wants to show him something in the valley. Meanwhile, Scar’s cronies, the evil hyenas, cause a herd of wildebeest to begin stampeding towards the valley where Simba is anxiously waiting for the promised surprised.
Mufasa, watching from afar, sees the herd on the move. Scar runs up to tell him that Simba is in danger, and Mufasa races to save his son. He succeeds, but as he jumps to save himself from the hooves of the wildebeests, Scar pushes him off the cliff, and Mufasa dies.
Simba, seeing his father fall, rushes to his side, trying to rouse him. The evil Scar comes to Simba then and implies that it is all his fault. “The truth is, Simba,” Scar says to the cub, “Mufasa’s dead because of you.” Simba believes him and faced with the guilt of causing his father’s death, and at the suggestion of Scar, he runs away.
Simba nearly dies in the desert, but a couple of unlikely friends, Timon and Pumbaa find him and save his life. Timon is a meercat, and Pumbaa is a warthog. They teach Simba a new life philosophy—a “no worries, no problems” lifestyle that forgets the past and lives with no concern for anyone but yourself. Simba is a lion, but he forgets who he is. He eats bugs and grubs just like Timon and Pumbaa and lives a carefree life--until his past, in the form of a childhood friend named Nala, bumps into him one day.
Disturbed and guilt-ridden again, Simba goes out into a field and screams at the sky, “You said you would always be with me, but you aren’t! Your dead, and it’s all my fault!”
In the distance Simba sees a baboon coming toward him. The baboon, named Rafiki, tells Simba that his father isn’t dead, that he will show Simba where he is. Simba follows Rafiki through the jungle and ends up at a pool of water. He sees his reflection and angrily turns to Rafiki, saying, “That’s not my father; it’s only my reflection.”
Rafiki replies, “Look harder . . . You see, he lives in you.”
Something stirs the water. The image of Mufasa appears. Mufasa tells Simba that he has forgotten him. Simba denies it. Mufasa says, “You have forgotten who you are, and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself. You are more than what you’ve become.” As Mufasa’s image disappears in the sky, he says, “Remember you are my son—the child of the one true king. Remember….”
The story ends with Simba returning to the Pride Lands to fight Scar and to assume his rightful place as the Lion King.
No matter how long you deny it, no matter how you behave in an effort to forget a painful past, you will always bear the image of your Father. A self-centered and foolish lifestyle built on deception (Satan’s lies) may prevent you from living out your true identity, and the Father sees all of this. But God never washes His hands of you and says, “That’s it. I’m writing her off. I can’t stand to look at her anymore.” Instead He brings you to a place where you must face who you have become so that you will remember who He created you to be.
The whole reason Jesus came in the likeness of man was so that we could again see the image of God through Him. Jesus came as a man so that we could, by receiving Him, be transformed into His likeness—created anew for His glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).
You resemble your Father, and you have great worth and significance because you were created by Him. Dare to believe this truth with all of your heart. Live as the daughter of the one true King
Melissa Haas currently serves as the Director of Restoration Groups for HopeQuest, a ministry group in Woodstock, Georgia, which helps people struggling with life-dominating issues. Melissa began her service in ministry in 1993 as an international missionary to Kenya, East Africa, where she and her husband Troy worked as church planters among the Turkana people. When a significant marital crisis ended their missionary service, Melissa and Troy began a journey of healing and restoration that now serves as the foundation of their ministry to others. Passionate about spiritual community, healthy marriages, and intimacy with God, Melissa regularly facilitates small groups and teaches and speaks on these topics in order to help the Body of Christ grow relationally with God and each other. Melissa and Troy and their three children reside in Woodstock, Georgia.