April 10, 2014

Imago Divinus + Imago Data = Imago Dei

When we talk about God or even heaven, we are speaking of things that we have not seen with our own eyes. What did the Bible say? It says we are to have faith. It is by faith that we are saved. What does faith imply? Believing in something, sometimes in “something” that cannot always be directly observed. Sometimes we can only see portions of reality or the effects that these "somethings"have on the things that we can see. We can see the effects the Holy Spirit has on believers. We can see the more holy lives people lead after their conversion and regeneration. It is not always a pretty nor straightforward process but it is a visible process that shows visual progress forward over the long haul.

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible." ~Hebrews 11:1-3

Because we are finite and God is infinite we can never fully grasp God. Jesus refers directly to heaven (which isn’t even God) a few times (Matt 13:31, 33, 44 & Mark 4:26). He tells us heaven is, “like this”, “like a mustard seed”, “is like leaven”. When dealing only with heaven, not God He refers to the unseen in heaven comparatively to things we can grasp. The Bible tells us clearly:

“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.” ~Exodus 20:4

God is not like any of the things in earth or in heaven, He is infinitely more. How can the human mind even begin to comprehend these things? The truth is we cannot. We can only understand what He has revealed about Himself through His Son or the Bible and these are only pieces.

It is like trying to send a file through the Internet that exceed the bandwidth for the line that you are trying to send it through and is too big for the receiving computer's hard drive. The computer can accept parcels of information or small portions at one time but if the entire file is forced on the receiver...it crashes the computer. If downloaded in small parcels it is easier to store the information away for later use. In smaller parcels or packets it is more manageable.

The Lord was gracious enough to give knowledge of Himself to us in pieces, bits (or bytes) that we could understand. We are all like little limited capacity jump drives walking around but until we plug into the Master we are all just isolated islands or nodules of data/information (life) that have no meaning. Until we are filled with what we are meant to be filled with (Holy Spirit) we are essentially empty, not configured (sinners) and useless except when it comes to "common" tasks. If we do become loaded with bad data (sin) it can bog our systems down. Really hostile or bad sin can act as a virus and wipe out entire portions of our existence as if they had never existed. Having not flirted with or got involved with the sin…we could’ve avoided the spiritual virus all together.

In a worst-case scenario we need to empty out the corrupt data (sin) and reconfigure or wipe (save) the drive because it has become so corrupt it is unusable. Damaged goods people. You literally have to start over from a blank slate by rebuilding the drive from scratch. Because data (life) can continually become corrupt and fragmented (riddled with holes) the drive needs routine defragmentation (routine repentance) otherwise you end up back in a corrupt state that requires another massive defrag again.

The question for you is: What kind of storage are you? Will you retain things pure & uncorrupted that can be retrieved and be useful. Can you retain something corrupt that needs to be corrected (sanctified) or will you only build up fragmented data that will later need to be discarded altogether (condemned)? Will you be righteous and an image bearer of God the way you were intended to be or will you choose to be unrighteous and become a corrupted image of the Master useful to no one? A corrupted file is fit for judgment and relegated to a trash bin.

As they say in computer lingo: Junk In, Junk Out.

Personally, I prefer to contain retrievable data with integrity even though the mainframe occasionally overwhelms me with its file size. We are human drives that are a temple of the Holy Spirit. We are tools that have been partitioned and set aside for specific use. We work within the system but are not part of it. In this way we are sentient but aloof. Integral to the proper functioning of the overall system but we do not need the earthly system to survive. We only need the Master Programmer who is the God of our operating manual, the Bible. We all work together in a giant network called the Kingdom and when one part of the system is bogged down within the existing corrupted and broken world system there is another portion of the network that can take the load off the burdened portion and carry the majority of the load.

So I guess the only real question you need to ask yourself is: Who or What are you plugged into or linked up with?

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