About a year ago, I walked into my favorite thrift store just down the street from my house, both kids in tow, just to look around for a bit. I had hardly made it through the door when I heard someone ask, “Is that __________’s kid?” I turned in the direction of the voice and, not recognizing the face, said, “I’m sorry, do I know you?” This woman came around from behind the cash register and said, “No, it’s just the resemblance is uncanny. This has to be his kid.” She had correctly identified who my son’s father was just by looking at my son’s face. It was weird, to say the least. My son, of course, smiled from ear to ear. He loves his dad and loves being told how much he looks like him. Believe it or not, this scenario has happened repeatedly since. My son does indeed look just like his dad. He has the same smile and facial features, and sports the same hair cut. He also has the same mannerisms as his dad. Watching him is like stepping back in time. And it seems the older he gets, the more he looks like his dad.
I remembered this incident today as I was contemplating my walk with Christ. In Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Whom else was He speaking to but to Jesus and the Holy Spirit? Just as my son is the spitting image of his dad, we were made in the image of God. In His likeness, and in the likeness of the Holy Spirit. What does that mean for us as children of God?
I have looked into the scriptures and gained a distinct vision of what the Lord looks like:
God the Father is love, according to 1 John 4:8. He is slow to anger and very forgiving (Joel 2:13). Our Father is stable, “I am the Lord and I change not. (Malachi 3:6)” He is holy and righteous (Psalms 99:9, 116:5). And 1 Peter 1:16 says, “Be ye holy as I am holy.” He calls us to be like him in this! God is also merciful, according to Deuteronomy 4:31 and Psalm 103:8.
Jesus, our Redeemer, is wonderful to behold. He is “a man of sorrows and well-acquainted with grief. (Isaiah 53:3)” In the face of intense persecution, he showed love and tenderness. He was full of compassion, many times putting off his need for rest because the crowds surrounded him with their needs. This is recorded numerous times throughout the four gospels. He was so peaceful with people, and when the Pharisees came against him with their own wisdom and understanding, he gave them truth without insults. Perhaps one of the greatest attributes of Christ was his willingness to submit to the will of God for his life instead of pursuing his own agenda (Matthew 26:39).
Looking to the Holy Spirit, we can most clearly see His character through the scriptures in Galatians 5:22, 23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
If it seems that our Father has left us a rather tall order to fill, it is true that He has. He has given us a lifetime to fill it, though. And the scripture says, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit.(II Corinthians 3:18)” We are continually becoming more like Him, one day at a time, one obstacle at a time. Just as my son seems to look more like his dad everyday, we also grow into the image of our Heavenly Father as we aspire to be more like the people He created us to be. And hopefully, others will take one look at us and think, “Wow, the resemblance is uncanny! This can be none other than a child of God!”