“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him…” (Genesis 1:27).”
As I was meditating on this scripture one day, the Lord gave me fresh understanding. He said “Man was created in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:27). So ALL that God is, man has an (intrinsic) need to be, and God is the only One who can satisfy that need abundantly.” We’re not just people who happen to have arbitrary needs and God so happens to be the answer to those needs, which is how I had been seeing it all along. No, it’s not like that at all! God created us with these needs that perfectly match up to God’s attributes, His image because it was His intention from the beginning of time to be the fulfillment of all these needs. It’s a beautiful picture of Grace, God’s sufficient Grace! God created a demand in us that He purposed Himself to be the fulfillment of.
But we know how the story goes. Adam chose the wrong tree (The Law, self-righteousness, self-reliance) and man fell out of this perfect marriage with God, where God’s perfect Grace met all of man’s needs. Once Adam doubted God’s love for him, he gave into the temptation of trusting in his own judgment, his own mind, and he trusted in himself. And this resulted in shame and guilt, and ultimately the fear of God. Self-condemnation set in. Nakedness became the new form of lack. And as a result, self-sufficiency set in. “Self” became the main source for man getting his own needs satisfied. The perfect union of God and man, where man could freely receive from his loving God, and all his needs were met, was now broken. And from here on out, man has struggled trying to get back into this union through his own self-effort. Every person is designed with this need for God to be the Satisfier of their needs, even if they refuse to believe in Him.
But God provided the answer through another man – Jesus. When we put our faith in Jesus, and make him Lord and Savior in our life, we are immediately brought back into this perfect marriage, this union, that once existed in the garden. The perfection does not exist because of anything we do or offer in this marriage; it exists because of what Jesus offered. The Cross is where this beautiful exchange of all our human mess, gets judged and reconciled in the perfect body of Christ, and we in exchange receive His righteousness, His right standing, his relationship as son with the Father, accepted and loved, not to mention all the promises of God. Upon believing in our heart that Jesus died the death we should’ve died, we get the life He should’ve lived, including his image (2 Cor 3:18).
“it is like two sides of a zipper.”
The best way I can describe it is like two sides of a zipper. The right side is God, the left is man. The two sides were created to marry up and become one. Each tooth on the God side of the zipper represents an attribute of God. The left side represents man with all his corresponding needs. And they match up perfectly!
So when we sense a lack of identity and say “Who am I?”, The Great I AM says, “because you are in Christ, as Christ is so are you. When I look at you, I see you as Jesus, my Beloved, the apple of my eye. That’s who you are.”
When we lack purpose, The Creator says, “I made you on purpose for a purpose and you are fearfully and wonderfully made.”
When we long in our hearts to belong to someone, The Father says, “You are my son (or daughter), come to Me.”
When we need to feel validated, The Righteous One says, “because you are IN Christ by faith alone, I see you as blameless, white as snow, as perfect as Christ and I will remember your sins no more. I have given you MY righteousness and call you the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.”
When we are confused and feel like we are walking in the dark and don’t know what is true or what is false, The Truth says, “My Word is true and I am faithful to my Word. Follow me and I’ll guide in the way everlasting.”
When we feel unloved, Love says, “I love you so much I died for you even when you didn’t love me back.”
When we feel tired from working so hard, “The Provider says, “I am your Helper and Provider and I will sustain you.”
When we lack a sense of security or are filled with fear, The Protector says, “I am your refuge and your fortress, trust Me. Let me keep you under my wing. There is no fear in Love.”
When we get bad news from the doctor, The Healer says, “I am a creator of life, not death; I healed them all and I will never make you sick. Christ’s body is the source of your healing, for by His stripes you are healed. Just receive. And with long life I will satisfy you!”
When we have circumstances that are beyond our control, The Deliverer says, “Fix your eyes on me and I will carry you through the storm.”
When we feel full of strife, Peace and Joy says, “cast your cares unto me and let me take care of you. My yoke is easy. Rest in me. Peace and Joy I leave with you.”
When the accounts in our life seem unfair and unjust and we hold grudges in order to offset the scale of offenses, The Justifier says, “I forgave you completely. I will remember your sins no more. In Christ, there is no condemnation. Love does not keep track of your wrong doings. I am not mad at you, and because I do not condemn you, you are free to forgive others and not be offended.”
When we really messed things up, The Redeemer says, “I will make it right again, only better.”
And there are many more of God’s attributes, but the one attribute, the one title, that encompasses them all, is The Shepherd. The Lord is your Shepherd, you shall not be in want. You shall not lack for anything. (Psalm 23). Whatever it is you need, He already purposed Himself to be the fulfillment of the need He created inside you. He is our sufficient Grace, our all-supplying loving Shepherd.
“… it is through him [Jesus] that we become joined with God.”
So back to the zipper. The zipper slider that joins the two sides together is Jesus because it is through him that we become joined with God. The other verse that comes to me that supports this is John 14:20 where Jesus says to His disciples “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” When the zipper is completely fastened together, you can’t pull it apart. It’s one solid piece of fabric! It is the perfect union of Love.
Now consider this, without God, we still have the same needs. How do we meet them without Him? By striving and struggling and searching and grabbing for people and the things in the world to satisfy us, constantly in search of a fix. It may work for a little while, but it never lasts. The need is always there wanting to be filled. But when God is the satisfier of our needs, it’s like the need doesn’t exist at all. That feeling of wanting goes away. It is perfectly satisfied…”I shall not want! (Psa 23)”
“The more we receive from Him, the more we start to be like Him in every part of our lives.”
And the more we behold and receive the revelation of Jesus and His Finished work at the cross, we experience the fulfillment of the needs God created in us according to the likeness of His image. AND we are also continuously transformed into the likeness and image of Christ. The more we receive from Him, the more we start to be like Him in every part of our lives. As we receive, we take on His attributes, God’s attributes. What earthly father doesn’t find joy in seeing his kids take on his good traits? So if we humans feel this way about our own kids, imagine that our perfect Heavenly Dad enjoys seeing His own attributes in His kids as well, and even better, enjoys being the supplier, the provider and the fulfillment of His own attributes that HE placed in us. He is the fulfillment of the demands He placed inside of us.
God is Love, and it pains love not to give. He wants to share and impart His perfect love into us because it gives Him great joy!