After five days of creating heaven and earth, on the sixth day, God made animals and created man and woman.
Genesis 1:27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
It is of note that the word “created” is used three times to describe the event of the beginning of mankind. God is emphasizing this amazing creation of mankind. He specifically states that man was created in “His own image.” No other plant, fish, bird, or animal is said to be made in the image of God. God created man to love, to have godly wisdom, and to act by his free will just as our heavenly Father loves, is wise, and bestows countless blessings on us.
A definition of image is: a representation of the external form of a person or thing. An image is like a simile or metaphor – something that expresses in a more concrete way another more complicated idea. We represent the spiritual in a physical form of who God is. Our bodies were created by Him to think and receive godly wisdom, and our bodies to perform the loving actions that are informed by our godly thoughts. Our minds and bodies were never intended to think or do evil.
Knowing that our minds and bodies were created for the purpose of being in spiritual connection with God all the time, the idea that we get that it is too hard for us to think and do the Word becomes absurd. We are CREATED to love God, think His Word, and live according to His direction. Yes, evil is around, BUT it has been defeated, and we are set apart by Christ for holiness even in the midst of all kinds of evil. The Apostle Paul encouraged others to live in holiness as he demonstrated by his manner.
2 Corinthians 1:12 For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.
We were created to be holy. We are enabled to think and act in a Christ-like manner.
2 Corinthians 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Ephesians 4:24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
How do we appropriate this holiness? How can we maintain living as the image and imitator of God? One way is by controlling our thoughts. We have been created with the ability to choose what thoughts we think and actions we take. We start with just one thought and make sure it is according to God’s Word. Then, we take the next one and examine it and so on. It can be a very tedious process in the beginning when we have allowed our thoughts to run amok with no self-discipline. We also have to contend with the negative emotions that we have attached to thoughts.
Prayer is the major way we change our thoughts and emotions to line up with the Word. Meditation on Scripture awakens our brains and bodies and causes healing wholeness so that we function as God intended. Neuroscientific and behavioral health research show how the brain literally makes healthy changes in as much as four days when what is being thought changes. With the new thoughts running the brain, the brain sends important electromagnetic, neurological, and hormonal messengers to the body which acts in godly ways as God intended.
Luke 18:1 Now He [Jesus] was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,
Thoughts tend to be stubborn and imbedded and do not want to be replaced. Don’t lose heart. Praying and conversing with God gives us the ability to stay connected and encouraged.
Romans 12:9-12 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
When devoted to prayer, our thoughts are attached to God’s thoughts, and we are better able to grab onto and not let go of His thoughts. As our thoughts are on serving Jesus Christ, then our body functions as Christ did.
Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
As we pray, anxiety lessens. We are able to maintain hours and hours, even days and days, of peace with God. This peace guards our hearts and minds. When we are at peace, our minds and bodies work as God intended for them to work. The opposite occurs when we are anxious and in turmoil, our minds and bodies become sick and malfunction.
Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;
1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing;
Continual prayer to God in every situation gives us that connection with Him so that we are able then to be as He created us to be – in His image. It takes one thought at a time. It takes discipline. If that is lacking and understanding is lacking, ask God for help, and He will help you. Our Heavenly Father made the heavens and the earth for mankind. He created mankind to be in His image. Do we think then that He turns His back on us when we need help? Even if someone seems to not be able to think even one sound thought, just reading this article helped to think sound thoughts while reading it. Open up the Scriptures to Psalm 16. Read one verse and think about it.
Psalm 16:1 Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.
Meditate on how God, who made the heaven of the heavens and all the earth, cares for and preserves you. A refuge is a place of safety, security, strength. God is safety to me, He is my hiding place where I have nothing to fear. How much God must love me to do all this for me. I welcome this love and care. Now read another verse and meditate on it.
We can handle one thought and either say, “Yes” to it or “No” to it. If every day, we change two or three thoughts to line up with the Word consistently, then in a short while we will have a whole mind full, just like Christ’s mind, of God’s thoughts and wisdom. Now THAT is a thought!