Psalm 119:144 The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.

Have you ever read The Imitation of Christ? It is a great work but personally I do not like the title. In part it has to do with value. Is a forgery of the Mona Lisa worth as much as the real painting? No. It has a beauty of its own and to the untrained eye appears genuine, but is in fact a fake.

What is the value of a fake if it is not passed off as the original but for what it truly is, imitation? Now it takes on value of its own. It is viewed as inspiration of beauty which is achievable in cost to the buyer. In the end the buyer understands he doesn’t have the real thing and no matter how much he appreciates the imitation, it is a fake and he knows it.

Christ in you is not an imitation, He is not a forgery, He is God. So often we look at ourselves as imitations and in doing so devalue ourselves because we know we are nothing but a forgery. That in itself is a misrepresentation of God’s creation. We were never meant to be created as Christ but merely vessels in which Christ might dwell, live and work. To call the vessel Christ is a disservice to Christ and the vessel.

Genesis 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;

In our pursuit of the created likeness we intellectually pursue understanding as it is a learned thing. We go the school for God. We study, we test, we self-examine and either find self-satisfaction or vanity of effectiveness. We see the painting and either admire it for what it is or call it a fake. Neither is real.

Who Christ is in me is not all of Christ. Who I am in Christ is not all of me. We are but part.

1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

He Answers

Psalms 143:1 Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.

I am placed in remembrance this morning of how God answers prayers.

Many years ago a sister in the Lord and I had a falling out over the role of a co-worker in our ministries. She was a friend and supporter of a man who hated himself so much, he was willing to destroy his identify as a man, and lead a life that was clearly against scriptures.

One day he came to me and told me that he had accepted Jesus Christ as his savior. My response was “Thank God, now you can give up this destructive plan of your.” His response was so disappointing. “No. I am still going through with it.”

He told this sister in the Lord of our conversation and she came at me as if I was the one who was guilty. “You don’t know God isn’t asking him to travel this path to reach the lost.” My only reply was, “God doesn’t make mistakes.” She raked me over the coals in her anger while I sat there and allowed her to have her say.

When she walked away I bowed my head in prayer, “If I am wrong Lord, show me.”

Shortly thereafter her arms surrounded me and her tear filled face came upon my cheek as she said, “I’m sorry. I was wrong to treat you that way.”

I’ve known for some time that the Lord cares about relationships and that He is able to mend the broken hearted. This was the first time I experienced God being instant in prayer.

Proverbs 18:19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.

But with God all things are possible.