In the last Shoveletter I left off with some questions, "What if God's mouth, God's word, God's hands, God's eyes, God's ears, etc are the real deal while ours are merely dim reflections? In other words, what if man had been made in the image of God ... and not the other way around?"
Do I suggest we haven't been sufficiently schooled in the Biblical truth that tells us God made man in HIS image? Not at all. Instead, I suspect the Biblical phrase has found a comfortable niche within our religious sensibilities -- one that has little connection to the real lives we live. We have adapted our perceptions around certain words and phrases that help convince us we actually believe the very truth we often contradict on a daily basis. Let's face it, if I adhere to a Biblical truth that states God created man in His own image, but I otherwise insist He operates according to MY perceptions, what do I really believe? This could be the source of much confusion, don't you think?
But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, Matthew 15:18
The truth we actually adhere to shows itself all day long despite attempts to restrict our beliefs to controlled statements. We simply cannot get around it because it's part of our make-up. For we were made in the image of God, who from His own heart spoke, and that which came out of His mouth -- His word -- perfectly expressed His true desires.
You see, the form of man does not define the form of God. Instead, humanity is a witness to the image from which it was fashioned. In other words, the understanding of God was built into man's very existence. However, if God's spirit is not the life of the thing created in His image there remains only a desperate attempt to redefine the incomprehensible mysteries demanded from within. Knowing this, we should not be at all surprised by the conflicting explanations of life and theories of God expressed by such a conflicted creation -- even those explanations we who have received God's spirit may have adopted.
What makes us think we can come to a better understanding of God through various Christianized versions of those same worthless attempts that kept God incomprehensible? The very concept of a better understanding of God originates from the former blindness, for it demands that God can be learned incrementally -- that is, a little bit at a time. Hmmm, maybe our religious sensibilities have taught us that the difference between finite and infinite is a quantity, so that we have assumed the one can get more of the other.
Is there anything inherently wrong with finite knowledge? Not at all. But the measurable is only a shadow of the immeasurable. The one can be categorized and numbered, the other cannot; and so the structures formed and achievements made in the finite have no translation nor value in the infinite. And yet it pleased the infinite, immeasurable one to reveal Himself to us within this framework. He must have had good reason -- and that reason is found in Christ.
I suspect we get pulled off the simplicity of Christ because we strive after it according to the familiar premise of understanding we learned in this world -- the one that gives the illusion but never the reality. And it is right here that we have been distracted from the inherent understanding of what God's word really is. For the spirit of Christ witnesses within us, who were made in God's image, as to the reality of that image who is now our life. But we are continually being lured away by the spirit of this world to join the circus in hopes that we might rid ourselves of the heritage we are falsely taught to despise.
Humanity's ability to express its desires through words -- and even its attempts to conceal them by the same means -- lingers as an enigma to the very nature of God. Whether ancient or modern, religious or irreligious, young or old, wise or ignorant, the sense of divine power in the spoken word AND the mystical connection between word and being has possessed us from the beginning. Every time we speak, every time we utter a word, a witness is made to the word of God. Even the denial demands the truth of God's word to the one who speaks it -- and to those who hear it -- for it cannot be avoided.
In the beginning God spoke, and His word accomplished what He desired. And the crowning achievement of all creation was the formation of man because he was made in God's own image. I often wonder if a lot of our frustration comes from the absurd attempt to rid ourselves of our humanity? It seems we have been duped into the assumption that Jesus is the replacement of man -- instead of the fulfillment of man. In him, the relationship between word and speaker finds its full meaning.
More to come ...