Who Am I? I Am a Creature
(Photo by Jens Johnsson on Unsplash)
And God created man in His own image, in the image of
God He created him; male and female He created them.
Who are you? First of all, you are a created being. You are made in the image of God, which makes you different from other living things, but you are still created. This makes you both dependent on God, your Creator, and accountable to Him.
DEPENDENT ON GOD
Dependency on God is one of those truths that we know in our head, but tend to forget in reality. After all, we are the ones who get up and go to work; we are the ones who make money to survive and thrive, and we are the ones who provide for our children. But Deuteronomy 8:17-18 warned the nation of Israel of this kind of thinking:
You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
Did you catch that? It is God who gives you the ability to produce wealth. When we think we are in control, it's because we forget that God is the One who makes everything possible. So what are the things we depend on God for?
Life and Breath--"and human hands can't serve his needs--for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need" (Acts 17:25). And God determines our days, "You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer" (Job 14:5).
Food--"The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it" (Ps 145:15). In Genesis 2:15, we read that God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it, but after sin entered the world, the ground was cursed, and they would now have to work by the sweat of their brow to have food to eat (Gen 3:17-19). Even in that, it is God who makes it possible for us to work the land and produce food.
Plans--James 4:13-15 talks about people who make plans as if they are in total control of what they do. But how do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Instead, you should keep in mind it is God who is in charge. You should say, "If the Lord wants me to, I will live and do this or that." We can make our plans, but it is the Lord who determines our steps (Prov 16:9).
Abilities--"...What do you have that God hasn't given you? And if everything you have is from God, why do you boast as though it were not a gift?" (1 Cor 4:7). "No one can receive anything unless it is given from heaven" (Jn 3:27). Every ability we have is a gift from God.
Physically, we are fragile. We are subject to disease and accidents. Even when we do everything in our power to stay healthy, we don't get to decide if we will get sick or not. My dad, who wanted to live to be 100 years old, died at age 55 from cancer. A person who lives to be 103 didn't live that long because they figured out the secret to a long life. No one has an accident because they decided to have one. As a child, I was riding my bicycle one day when my foot slipped off the pedal. I didn't choose for that to happen nor for the pain that followed. But we can be sure that none of what happens surprises God.
Spiritually, we are vulnerable. We often act as if our spiritual health isn't at risk. We have three enemies: the world, the devil, and our own sinful nature. These enemies work together and continually bombard us with the world's way of thinking. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life are always beckoning (1 Jn 2:16). The devil is roaming around seeking someone to devour (1 Pet 5:8). His mission is to kill, steal, and destroy (Jn 10:10). And he will take any opportunity we allow him. But temptation comes from our own sinful nature. James 1:13-15 tells us that no one should ever say, "God is tempting me," because God is never tempted to do wrong, and He never tempts anyone. Temptation comes from our own desires which entice us and drag us away. And these desires give birth to sinful actions. So Satan takes advantage of our sinful nature, and our sinful flesh is enticed by the world. Do you see how they work together to keep us vulnerable? But we need not fear. God is our refuge, and He always provides a way out (1 Cor 10:13). He is our only hope.
ACCOUNTABLE TO GOD
As created beings, we are morally accountable to God. We can to know right from wrong and to choose obedience or disobedience. God told Adam he could eat the fruit from any tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Accountability to God began with Adam and runs throughout Scripture. The following are a few examples of individuals or groups who were and are accountable to God:
Cain for murdering his brother (Gen 4:9-16)
Noah for building an ark (Gen 6:9-22)
Israel for keeping the Ten Commandments (Ex 20)
OT prophets for speaking God's message to the people (Jer 1:9-10)
people for believing the Good News of Jesus (Rom 10:13-15)
people for knowing God exists (Rom 1:20)
believers for their life of service (Rom 14:12)
Each of us will give an account of ourselves before God. At the end of the age, the dead will be judged according to what they have done. All will stand before God. The Book of Life will be opened, and anyone whose name is not written in the book will be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev 20:11-15). Believers will be judged according to their life of service and faithfulness to God and will receive rewards accordingly.
Knowing we are dependent on and accountable to God should cause us to be humble. We are not the "Master of our fate, the captain of our soul," as William Ernest Henley's line in the poem Invictus claims. We are dependent on God for our very breath.
As God's creatures, we should not only be humble; we should be grateful. Everything good in our lives is a gift from God (Jms 1:17). Most importantly, He offers us eternal life if we will accept His Son, Jesus, who paid the penalty for our sin.
Source: Jerry Bridges: Who Am I? Identity in Christ