Created to Be (Part 2)
Created to Be
In part 1 of this article, we considered the God-given beauty and value of our life created in the divine image. In this second part, we will delve more deeply into the meaning of this life created in the image of God.
In Exodus 3 Moses is confronted by the life-giving, life-sustaining God who calls us to be. In verse 14, after exhausting his reasons for not taking up God’s mission to the Hebrews, Moses asks for that clarifying, identifying declaration of God’s being that would convince the Hebrews he had been sent by their God. God’s reply was simple: tell them I AM has sent me to you. Could it be that there is something inherently profound and powerful in that response that is valid for us, who have been created in divine image? When we move toward the attitude and spirit that enables us to declare with confidence the “I Am” of our own being—not encumbered by the weights of competition and comparison—we begin to build a strong foundation of a healthy relational life with God, self, and others. It is a foundation of love, not of power. It is the foundation that enables us to declare along with Paul, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” (Phil 4:12 NIV1984). The personal “I Am” of human experience enables us to declare with confidence:
I Am …created in God’s image (Gen 1:27).
…fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps 139:14).
…loved by God (John 3:16).
…capable of loving all that God loves (1 John 4:19).
…gifted and empowered to give myself away to my world in the
name of Jesus (Eph 4:11).
I Am able to become all God desires me to be!
Such a spirit enables us to live in a freedom that God alone can provide:
Freedom to be…
…with the Father
…submitted to divine lordship: “God alone”
…unshackled from the chains of comparison and competition
…filled with peace, joy, love, hope
…a vessel of divine love
…The person God created me to be
As we think about the life of the local congregation, we must always remember that most conflict arises as the result of broken relationships, not broken methods. What we bring to the table spiritually as leaders has far more to do with the success of the ministry of the church than the programs and methods we embrace. That is not to downplay the value and importance of effective and productive methodologies. But the spirit in which any method is embraced will ultimately determine its effectiveness. The foundation of true holiness and unity in the body of Christ is love, and that love becomes part of the local congregation through the lives of its people. We must never underestimate or neglect the power of love in the life of the church. Love is the factor that can make or break the methods we choose to embrace as we serve our world in the name of Jesus. To serve in the name of Jesus, we can do no less than build upon the foundation of love. Anything else will fall short of the work the Lord desires to do in us and through us (Eph 3:20).
Click here to read Created to Be (Part 1)
Paul Dreger has served the Church of God for thirty-six years, first as a pastor, then as an area administrator in Tennessee, and currently as national director of SHAPE (Sustaining Health and Pastoral Excellence).