Do you ever wonder what God actually looks like?
I’m sure you’ve seen a caricature somewhere. Something like a giant white robe glistening with golden streaks and hands stretched out over the earth.
I’m sure you know exactly what Jesus looks like. He is a man with chestnut mid-length hair, lightly tanned skin, and shiny bright teeth.
We’ve all been given a picture of what the Lord should look like, and yet, we struggle with the idea that we are to look the same.
Perhaps this is because our ideas are nowhere near the magnificence of our God.
As Christians, we are to find our identity in Christ. We are called to walk in His likeness, carrying His mantle through the world. We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus. But we often find ourselves trying to be more like the lightly tanned and bright-teethed Jesus than the one we find in the Word. We would rather make it about the surface of the Lord’s appearance. We focus on having the right smile, doing the right things, embracing the right people at the right time.
What a tidy picture of Jesus.
We are so far off.
What I love about the Lord is that His appearance is never boiled down to physical features in the Bible. In the account of the Transfiguration, it says that Jesus’s, “face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as light” (Matt. 17:2 NIV). John describes our Savior in the book of Revelation as having eyes like a blazing fire and a voice, “like the sound of rushing waters” (Rev. 1:14-15 NIV). It is clear, our Lord is more majestic than we can fathom.
This is Who we are to fashion our hearts after.
This is Who the Colossians embodied.
Paul recognizes the Colossians are of the same Spirit and same appearance of Christ.
“We have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people – the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in Heaven.”
Colossians 1:4-5 NIV
It wasn’t about the way they physically presented themselves. It wasn’t that the Colossians fought to look Christian in action, displaying their faith at the right place and time. The point was that they were of kindred spirit with the Lord. They expressed a true relation to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the way they loved all of God’s people. It was the faith that came out of their hope in Heaven that caused them to freely love others without fear or limitation.
What fears are causing you to put up walls between you and others?
It is easy to shrug off this message. You’re sitting at home, at a coffee shop, or in your car. No one is watching you. You can easily say that this message isn’t for you, but the next door neighbor, the woman in the corner of the coffee shop who is clearly struggling to get through the day, or the person who cut you off a few moments ago. But if you truly ask yourself if you are living a life of love and looking like Jesus in real time, what would your answer be?
I am (now) the first to say, I am awful at this. My past pains have caused me to live locked up in social fear for quite some time. However, God has worked with me, steadily revealing what He looks like. He’s showing me that just because He adopts me into His family, doesn’t mean that I am barred from looking like Him.
You have the same opportunity. You are adopted by a Heavenly Father who knows you better than anyone else. His plans for you don’t look like the prim and proper Jesus glowing in an illustration. God longs for you to truly look like Him by loving, through faith and hope in Him.
You might be an adopted daughter, but you have been blessed with the ability to share a kindred spirit with Him, becoming more and more like Him each day. Then, the Lord will be the one to say that ,“in the same way, the Gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world – just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace” (Col. 1:6 NIV).
What does God actually look like?
What does God actually look like in you?
Featured image by Brooke Cagle