We’re limited, but when we acknowledge our partnership with God, we become unlimited.
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
In Genesis 1:27 we hear God say, “let us make man in our own image, after our likeness.” Knowing we’re made in the image of God helps us learn about what it means to be human. Many of the things we see God doing in Genesis 1 and 2 are reflected in humanity, but there is one way we’re not like God. Just as the moon carries many of the same attributes as the sun, yet is completely different in magnitude and quality, we carry the image of God, but we have limits.
The first hint at our limitation is found in the resources we have to create. God creates ‘ex nihilo’ or ‘out of nothing’. However, human creativity is never out of nothing. It’s a creative rearranging of what God has already created. We notice human limitation when we look at Adam. Adam is limited. He is given work to do. He is not designed to do whatever he wants, he is designed to tend and care for creation. Adam’s purpose is limited. When God says, “It is not good that the man should be alone,” it’s evident something is missing (Genesis 2:18). Again, Adam is limited in by his relational need. Adam has plants, animals, work and God himself, but all this is not enough. He isn’t self-sufficient. He is forced to depend on God. Finally, Adam is limited by his need for rhythm and rest. God created Sabbath as a space to acknowledge limitations in energy and responsibility for the world. After all, Jesus says, “Sabbath was created for man, not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27).” Adam is not the master creator, God is. He is limited.
We are limited too. Even though we’re created “in the image of God” and we reflect God in many ways, we will never be God. Thank God! Even before sin entered the world Adam and Eve were limited. If we look at the complexity of the universe and the fact that God “upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3), it is a relief that we are limited. The only risk we run in acknowledging our limits is if we overemphasize them to the point we fail to reflect God at all. We’re limited, but we are the crown jewel of God’s creation, given the highest authority God has bestowed on any of his created things. We’re limited, but when we acknowledge our partnership with God we become unlimited. Stop what you are doing, set a timer for five to ten minutes, close your eyes, and just breath. As you breath remember that the breath you’re given is not made by you. Today, acknowledge your limits and acknowledge that God doesn’t have those same limits.
By Aaron Bjorklund