Imaging God and Owning Your Power
Dear Kaleid Ladies,
Good morning! What a sweet spring we have had as we’ve gone deep into Kaleid’s See Yourself lens, growing in our ability to love with confidence and clarity from the fullness of who we are.
We spent time exploring our purpose—our unique strengths and how we show up to engage the world. Then we explored our passion—where we show up in the world based on our stories, our wounds, and God’s redemptive healing.
Today we turn toward seeing our power. Not only do we need to know how we are wired and what makes our hearts beat faster, but we need to live into our own fullness--the dignity and the limits of who God made us to be.
The word “power” may give you pause. If so, what do you notice about your response? Do you feel Eagerness? Hesitation? Fear? Welcome?
Power is what we express in the world, as we move in love. Imaging God in our power is fully embodying love in our place.
Made in God’s Image:
In kingdoms like Israel in the Ancient Near East, rulers marked the lines of their territory through stone carvings that looked like the ruler, set at the borders of their territory. When a traveler saw one of the carvings, they knew they had crossed into that ruler’s territory. In Hebrew, these stone markers were called “tselem,” which translates to “image.”
It was common for the ruler and the deity of a territory to be considered as one entity. The ruler was the physical manifestation of the deity of a physical region. (Think of Pharoah, who was god and ruler, both.) So, as people encountered a tselem, an image, they knew they had crossed both a political and religious border: they were now in a land ruled by a different god, embodied by the local ruler.
In Genesis, the word used to talk about being made “in the image of God” is the word “tselem.” We are created to designate God’s territory—to represent God to the world. When people cross our paths, they should sense that they have crossed into God’s space, where God is ruler and where God is worshipped.
We were made for love. We were made to embody God’s love in the world, in our physical place, with all of the God-given power that we have.
What did this understanding of image-bearing do for the Israelites’ self-understanding? How did it help a subjugated slave-people become a set-apart nation-people?
First, it told them how close God was to each one of them—the king wasn’t the only one who held a spark of deity. Everyone bears it, somehow.
It was also democratizing. Every single person now represents God, equally—man, woman, child…people with different ability, appearance, etc.
And, it helped them to recognize their power as it was intended to exist. To be in another’s Kingdom is to encounter their power. Love is the force and nature of God’s power. We are meant to take up the space in our world fully and confidently, to advance love in the world. As we do, those who cross our paths begin to wonder, “Just who is in charge in this corner of the world, anyway?”
To be made in God’s image is radically dignifying.
We all are meant to bear the divine. How mysterious and stunning.
We all are meant to represent God. How democratizing and equalizing.
We all are meant to advance love. How challenging and encouraging.
Obviously, power can go really sideways, really fast. Next week we’ll talk about that. But today, we invite you into a time of reflection. See what your heart does with this empowering invitation to bear God’s image in your space today.
- Read Ephesians 3:14-21 a few times, slowly. As you do, consider the power of God’s love for you and in you. What does the Spirit want you to know today as you sit with this passage?
- How do you normally think about your power? Or, do you ever even consider living into your own power? Does the concept bring you any particular type of excitement or trepidation? Ask the Spirit to lead you in a prayer with these prompts: “God, the concept of living more powerfully causes me to feel…” “When I consider living this way, I also start to think about…” “As I sit with this, I sense that you might be inviting me to…”
We love you!
The Kaleid Team
P.S. Our Silent Retreat “New Life in Christ” is Monday, May 1! Register today to join us from 8:30 – 3:00 at the Ignatius House in Sandy Springs!
Also, if you want to explore past reflections on purpose or passion, visit us on our blog, which you can access from our home page.