Becoming Like God
May 14, 2021 1646
…you will be like God… (Genesis 3:5, NIV).
The personal development sector is a huge one in the world today. It’s valued at over 10 billion dollars! It’s a good thing to want to improve yourself. It’s a drive that has always existed since the beginning. In fact, it was the basis of the temptation that caused humanity’s fall. As the serpent presented the fruit of the forbidden tree to Eve, he said,
For God knows that when you eat from it… you will be like God… (Genesis 3:5, NIV).
In ancient societies, there were a privileged few, like the Pharaohs, who strove to be like God. They called themselves gods on earth. They claimed the rights of god and they lived in splendor and opulence. But trying to be god didn’t really work out for them. I’ve seen their shriveled mummies in the Cairo Museum.
The reality is that you become like the god you worship. If you worship ambition, you become more ruthless in your ambition. If you worship power, you will become more obsessional in your control. If you worship wealth, you become more grasping in your pursuit of money. And if you worship yourself (and many people do) you become more and more like yourself. And if just stop and think honestly about that, it’s a frightening thought!
You become like the god you worship.
You can see this principle, that you become like the god you worship, very clearly among different kinds of Christians. It depends on what the focus of their religion is.
There are Christians whose religion is more about rule-following. Their God is a God of exacting justice, who lays down rules and expects them to be obeyed, rewarding the obedient and punishing the disobedient. Because this is the focus of how they see God, they become just like that themselves: judgmental and critical of others, controlling and manipulative, and unforgiving of the wrongs of others.
The opposite is also true. There are those Christians who might talk a lot about the love of God, but who have a concept of a God who ultimately doesn’t care. And so, they lose their sense of obligation towards God and become lax and careless in their walk with God and with others.
The way in which we are to be like God is to be like a flower that turns toward the sun.
This principle that you become like the god you worship is taught in the Bible. It tells us that the more we contemplate Jesus, the more we will become like him,
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory… (2 Cor 3:18, NIV).
In reality, God does want us to become like him. It’s not because he approves our goodness; but because we approve of his. It’s not because God needs our goodness, but because we need his. It’s not because God loves us any more or less because of our goodness, but because we love him for his. After, all as Jesus said, “No-one is good, but God alone”, (Mark 10:18, NIV).
The way in which we are to be like God is to be like a flower that turns toward the sun, from which it derives its life. That’s worship. To worship anything else is to shrivel up and die.