I am on a quest to be real. To become my
real self, I must return to my Creator, the one who designed and created all it
means to be human. As the world is proving constantly, it doesn’t understand
who we are, why we are here, what is wrong with us, or how to fix what is broken.
At the same time, when people hear a
feel-good story about some act of kindness, compassion or heroism, they often
say something like, “that has restored my faith in humanity.” It is as though
we instinctively know there are certain traits of being human, that those expressions
are fewer than the unhuman ones, and that it does our hearts good to see fresh
examples of humanness in action.
Becoming real is not easy. The world tries
to monopolize our understanding of who we are and what we are about with every
conceivable fairy-tale of our existence. Evolution tells us we are nothing more
than the product of chance and mutation. Religion tells us we are whatever we
decide, take your pick. Pride tells us we are masters of our own destinies (even
though evolution has told us we are flukes of mindlessness). It is all such a
cesspool of meaningless and contradiction that it gives no hope of being real
And then we find this Book. It claims and
confirms that it was authored by God our Creator. It tells us who we are, how
we got here, what is wrong with us, how that wrongness is fixed, and what to
expect of both the here-and-now of the present and the there-and-then of the future.
What this Book tells me that is more
descriptive of anything else it means to be human is this,
So God created man in his own image,
the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
This tells me who I am, a creature made by
God in his own image and likeness. It tells me how I got here, by the direct creative
expression of God. It tells me what it looks like to be human, to be like the
God who created us.
The rest of God’s Book tells us what is
wrong with us, that, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.
It tells us what God has done to fix our sin problem, “and are justified by
his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”.
And God’s Book tells us how to return to
our design as human beings, “whom God put forward as a propitiation by his
blood, to be received by faith.”
Or, “to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right
to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the
flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Receiving Jesus Christ by faith restores us
to the image and likeness of God. It started that work the moment we received Jesus
as our Lord and Savior. It continues in this earthly life as we continually
grow up to be like Jesus. And it will be completed at the return of Christ when,
“we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”
Now, to the practical issues of becoming
The thing that sucks is facing all the
things in our lives that are not real. Getting older doesn’t slow this down. In
fact, it almost seems like the more mature we grow, the more unrealness we see
since we are becoming all the more attuned to what is real.
What I have been meditating on lately regarding
having a faith that works is about returning to realness.
A child having faith in Father-God is as real as we can get.
However, sin did not make us unreal by
shutting down our faith, but by convincing us to put our faith elsewhere. Adam
and Eve did not stop having faith when they succumbed to the serpent, they
simply switched their faith from Yahweh to Lucifer (and to themselves as the
judge of whose will is best).
When James (a dad-figure to me) takes me
aside and clarifies what it means to have faith, he is directing me into what
real faith looks like. He is leading me back to what is real, to trust in God
our Creator in the real and personal way we were made for in the beginning.
Now that it is so clear that real faith is
attaching to Father as his dependent child, I see so many things in me that are
trained to trust my sark (flesh). It is poisonously subtle how often I find
myself doing this. It is painfully obvious that it is sark-trust instead of
God-faith (even when dressed in good “Christian” activities).
However, since God promises, “that he
who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ”,
I can see that, for my ultimate joy, God must return my faith to him. I can
also accept that he is okay leading me into miserable experiences of discipline
(letting me feel the consequences of my sarkiness) in order to return me to
that joy. He “disciplines the one he loves,”
in order that we can return to our design in the image and likeness of Jesus Christ.
Another father in the faith states his
encouragement like this, “Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work
with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.”
The return to joy is a return to faith in our Creator.
With that in mind, it is no wonder we are
told to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
It is because of him that God “has delivered us from the domain of darkness
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have
redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Now that we are transferred into Jesus’
kingdom, we are free to daily grow up to be like him. As is written, “And we
all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed
into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from
the Lord who is the Spirit.”
© 2020 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the
English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text
Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of
Good News Publishers.)