Made in His Image & Likeness - Part I

Recently, I was a leader at a youth conference hosted by my church. Students from other churches were in attendance too. The conference was lit and every student seemed to be having a great time (and I’m sure they did). When I looked around, all I saw were amazing students from different backgrounds with beautiful smiles and hearts full of joy. 

This was my general perception of everyone - leaders and students - in attendance, until the final session when people were asked to come share testimonies. Many came up to share their testimonies and experiences at the conference. To my utmost surprise, many shared about how unloved, unworthy, insufficient and broken they felt and how for the first time they felt loved or God’s presence. 

It definitely wasn’t all doom and gloom but these testimonies stood out to me because I felt everyone was all mushed up in the love of Jesus. Even more, my brain could not comprehend why 10-16 year olds would feel this way and carry such burdens. It bothered me and broke my heart at the same time. And while this was sad to hear, it was also good timing because only days before the conference I was contemplating just shutting down Kanvves because I am not seeing the results I desire [a.k.a not making sales]. 

When I was having that conversation with God, I felt He told me to be patient and keep doing exactly what I was doing. This conference reminded me why Kanvves exists - people are hurting and people need to know their true identity in Christ. Many people believe lies God did not say about them and He wants them to know who He created them and is creating them to be. He used the conference to remind me that Kanvves was needed, and it is more than sales.

This is the primary reason behind this blog post. At some point, a lie may have been spoken over us, we’ve let past failure or success define us or let culture define who we are. I would go as far as saying this is inevitable as long as we’re on earth, but it is believing these untruths over and over again which lead to taking up false identities we should avoid.

So, if you are believing any lies the enemy may have planted, this is a reminder from God that they are NOT true. He is reminding you that you were made in His image and likeness. You may have heard that statement a thousand times, but stick with me for a bit. I’d take you back to the beginning when God talked about creating you in His image and likeness. But before I do that, let’s even see how the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines image and likeness.

a visual representation of something

the quality or state of being like: RESEMBLANCE

And here is Genesis 1:26-27:

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 

27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Now here is my thought on being created in God’s image and likeness. I don’t believe it was a mistake that the bible used both words - image and likeness. Verse 26 could have easily said, ‘let Us make man in Our Image’ only or ‘let Us make man in Our likeness’ only but that is not what it says. It specifically says “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” 

You may ask, why is that important? I’m glad you asked! It is important because I believe image and likeness refer to two different things. I know we’ve read or heard this verse so many times and we may believe they mean the same thing and it just means we look like God. And if that is true and it is the only meaning, that is even ENOUGH! But like we may all know, our God is intentional. Nothing is a mistake or an afterthought - that includes you, by the way!

God is saying that you don’t only look like him physically (image), but that you also have his character traits (likeness)

Back to ‘Image’ and ‘Likeness,’ I believe that by using those two words God is saying that you don’t only look like him physically (image), but that you also have his character traits (likeness). And in case you want to say this doesn’t apply to you, the very next verse says ‘in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.’ So, it is the same for both men and women, boy or girl - no exceptions. Remember, God is intentional

If this is true, I put it to you that you are not broken, unworthy, insufficient, or ugly (or any other lie you may believe) but that you are beautiful, whole, enough, worthy (and every other thing attributed to God). And that the only reason you feel that way is because you’re believing a lie and you’ve taken up a false identity. The only way you are any of those lies is if God is also broken, unworthy, or ugly OR He is a liar by saying you are made in His image and according to His likeness (and by the way, if you believe this, that is a lie too!).

But if we can agree that God is none of these, then we can also agree that you are none of those too. It is that simple! If God did not say it, then you are not it! This means if you feel something is wrong with you physically - not true! And if you feel there’s something wrong about who you are - not true either! Now, do we mess up sometimes? Yes! Like, YES!!! But our messes don’t define us, God does.

And if you’re reading this, God wants you to know there’s nothing wrong with your physical attributes or your character traits because He made you exactly the way you are and loves you exactly the way you are. Man might not always see it and we may sometimes even belittle it, it doesn’t mean God doesn’t cherish the masterpiece you are. We just have to remember that only God’s words matter - nothing else.

This post is trying to remind you that you look, and act, and sound and play like God. That nothing about you or who you are is a mistake or an afterthought. I’m showing you that if you believe God is awesome, then you have awesomeness written all over you too. God wasn’t playing when he made you. He didn’t make you as a joke. He thought you through and made you in His image and likeness, because He is intentional. 

I believe it saddens His heart when people think less of themselves and He wants to remind you of the masterpiece He created you to be. This post focused on reminding you of God’s intentionality in creating you. Part II will focus on how in-depth and thoughtful God was in creating you, and you will be amazed by how highly He rates you.

Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. Also, share with someone who needs to read this (I believe this is for everyone). Until next time, stay blessed and be inspired to walk in your true identity.

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All you can do is all you can do. But all you can do is enough.

Art Williams