His Image and Likeness
We have been talking about Daniel 2:20-21, which says God changes the times and seasons. Many prophetic believers are confident this is occurring and that we are experiencing a divine shift into a time of great harvest. God does not create these shifts based on a whim or when He “finally decides” it’s time to do something. The God who sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10) never has to finally decide to do anything. He is a God of precision and order, purpose and design; He does nothing without strategic intent.
When it concerns harvest, God’s timing is determined by several things: the spiritual atmosphere of a region; the time it takes to prepare the hearts of a generation, both at individual and corporate levels; and the readiness of His reapers, the church. Since it is His will that none perish, He is always ready to save. It is the decisions and hearts of people that dictate when He can do so.
In Elijah’s day, God wanted to turn the hearts of Israel away from Jezebel’s influence long before He was able to do so. It took years of Elijah’s prophesying, a devastating drought, a power encounter that exposed the powerlessness of Baal, and 12-13 more years of work raising up Elijah’s successors. Only then was Jezebel fully overthrown. The timing of awakening is not determined only by what God wants!
We, the church, are an important part of this timing. This is why Jesus said on one occasion that the harvest was great but the laborers were few. He followed this by saying “...pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers” (Matthew 9:37-38). He tells us to ask because this is how He works on earth. He needs humans, whom He gave authority over the earth, to ask Him (see Ezekiel 22:30-31). He does not work in spite of people but through people. As profound as it seems, the God of the universe needs us! I took the first four chapters of my book, Intercessory Prayer, to teach on why prayer is necessary. If you don’t feel that you understand this, it would be a helpful read.
Because of this partnership, Holy Spirit is always working in the church and the world simultaneously to prepare for a harvest season. Going from revelation to revelation and faith to faith (as we have spoken of in the last two posts) is not just to mature us for individual growth and fruitfulness; it is also to prepare us for Holy Spirit’s next phase of activity on earth. As we increase in our level of maturity and understanding of His ways, He can use us to accomplish more and more for and with Him. As you can see, several factors affect the timing of God‘s shifts in the earth and in our lives.
We have looked at Proverbs 4:18 and Romans 1:17 as part of the divine shift. Another verse that mentions the phases of our spiritual maturing process is 2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”
In order to truly understand this verse, it must be looked at in light of Adam’s fall. God made Adam and Eve - and in them the entire human race - in His image and likeness. The word “image” (tselem) in Genesis 1:26 comes from a word meaning “to shade.” Tselem means “a shadow, illusion or phantom.” We were created so much like God that it was illusionary! The word “likeness” (demuwth) is from the Hebrew word meaning “to compare.” Adam and Eve were comparable to God! Amazing. Made in His image and likeness, filled with His spirit, Adam and Eve were as much like God as they could be without being equals. And why not - He was creating family!
Psalms 8:5 says God crowned Adam with glory, which brings us to our text: being transformed from glory to glory. The Hebrew word for glory (kabowd) means “weighty” or “heavy”. The concept is related to authority and influence. Still today we use this concept, saying of individuals who are in charge of a place or situation, “they carry the weight.” We speak of people with great influence as individuals who “carry a lot of weight.” Adam and Eve “carried the weight” on earth; they were in charge. In order to represent Him effectively, God gave them His image and Spirit. When the rest of creation saw Adam and Eve, they saw God in them.
The New Testament word for glory (doxa) also includes the concept of image and likeness. Doxa, literally means “the appearance of a person or thing which causes it to be recognized for what it is.” This does not pertain only to God. The concept of “glorifying” something is acknowledging it for what it really is - it’s beauty, virtue or other distinctives. When we are using it in reference to God, we “glorify” Him because we recognize Him for who He is, which motivates us to honor or worship Him.
When the Bible speaks of humans having or bearing God‘s glory (Psalm 8:5; 1 Corinthians 11:7) it is not speaking of us receiving praise or honor. It is saying we look like Him. He is seen in us. Of course, when Adam and Eve sinned they lost the glory or image of God. He was no longer seen in them. The end result was that pride, rebellion, anger, violence, perversions and many other forms of sin were seen. When we are born again this changes. We receive His image once again in our spirit, and begin a process of transformation outwardly, which allows us to express His image to others - from glory to glory. Obviously, those around us are not to see our personal uniqueness; we want them to see Christ. It is His image we are being conformed into, His glory. We are to bring recognition of Him, not ourselves.
As far as a spiritual harvest is concerned, earth has been in a chronos season for 40 years. During this time, Holy Spirit has worked in the church to produce much change. The apostolic and prophetic anointings of Christ have been restored, worship has matured greatly and many in the church now understand what it means to be Christ’s Ekklesia. He has brought us to a level of maturity that more appropriately glorifies (pictures, reveals) Christ. As the worldwide revival gains momentum, the world will no longer look at us indifferently or with cynicism. They will instead recognize something about us that impresses them - not us, but Jesus. In this process, we have shifted to kairos and are moving toward fullness. The result will be harvest and great revival.
Paul who wrote the verse in 2 Corinthians 3:18 - “transformed...from glory to glory” - understood the process well. After his dramatic conversion, he waited in a chronos season for many years while God was “glorifying” him - making him look like Christ. When the time was right, Holy Spirit caused a divine shift, recorded in Acts 13:1-3, and allowed Paul to reveal Christ to the world.
He wants to do the same with us. As we allow Holy Spirit to transform us, we will look more like Christ and less like ourselves. At each new phase of glory, He can trust us with more authority, influence, and power. And we, like Paul, will be released to show the world a clearer picture of Christ.
Let’s make it happen. Move from glory to glory.
Pray with me:
Father, the world is desperately looking for You, they just don’t know it. We are Your living epistles or letters, Your ambassadors, Christians (“little Christs”). In order to reveal You to the world, You give us Your anointing, gifts, Spirit and, yes, glory. It is our desire that a new level of this representation, a new level of Your glory, will come upon the church. Let the shift occur.
We ask for this in our individual lives in order that we might manifest Your glory at home, work and play. We also ask for it in a corporate sense. Manifest Your glory through signs and wonders. Do so through great deliverances and salvation. Do so through the gifts of Your Spirit.
And manifest Your weighty glory, Your authority, in the government of this nation. Let the full weight of who You are descend on America - her government, education system, media, and every other segment of society. Show us Your glory!
We decree that the glory of God will be seen in our day!
Portions of today’s post were taken from my book God’s Timing for Your Life.
Click on the link below to watch the full prayer.