Tag Archives: Sanctification

Like A Glass Hammer

Like A Glass Hammer

They were powerful words that commissioned the climax of the creation account, “Let us make man in our image.” (Gen 1:26) It was at this point, God breathed life into dirt, and the image bearer of God walked through creation. Humanity was meant to uniquely display God’s glory, bearing an image to which the rest of creation only testified.

All was well until the moment of deception when they ate of the fruit. Bearing the image of God was no longer the desire of their heart. As the serpent enticed, the lie became more believable – perhaps they could be like God (Gen 3:5). With straying affections that led to an act of disobedience, sin marred the image of God in man. Guilty of and broken by sin, mankind was removed from the garden.

Bearing an Image

A small glass hammer sits on a shelf in my office. Though it looks a little abstract, it was the best glass hammer I could find. When most people look at it, they can tell it is a hammer, but they also clearly see it is not something one might buy at the local hardware store. There would be consequences in using the glass hammer in the same manner as the one in my toolbox. To remove it from the shelf and strike it against anything would prove destructive – not for the object, but the glass hammer. Made of glass and of little physical use, the object on my shelf merely bears the image of a hammer.

A Reminder

This hammer stays in my office to remind me of Genesis 3. Through the person and work of Jesus Christ, the image of God is restored from one degree of glory to the next (2 Cor 3:18). I am a work in progress that God is faithful to complete (Phil. 1:6). Though this is a great promise, I also struggle with the same desires as Adam and Eve. Sin wells up within as I begin to be dissatisfied as an image bearer and seek to be God.

When we think of someone trying to be like God, we picture a prideful and controlling attitude. They may be domineering, wanting everything done their way. We may even use this idea when thinking of a “know-it-all” or narcissist. In using these mental pictures, we are often comforted because we create a scenario that does not resemble us.

A desire to be God, or act like God, most often takes place in our rebellion against his Word and his working in our lives. When we walk outside of the parameters God designed for us, by default, we try to take his place. We act as if our knowledge is more excellent than his and our desire is purer than his. We may not demand that people do what we say or try to control the lives of others. We dethrone the God of the universe to bow down to our own will.


We are not all-powerful, and our vision of life pails to the eternal perspective of God. We take matters into our own hands, following our indecisive hearts and minds. Walking in rebellion of God’s design and desire, we end up a shattered glass hammer. Not only are we broken, but we make a mess of everything around us. Shards of broken pieces and destruction replace the beauty and glory we are designed to bear.

The hammer sits on my shelf to remind me that God’s desire and design is better than my own. In times of doubt and struggle, I can trust what he is doing. He desires to do something more beautiful in me than I want for myself, and no matter what means he uses to accomplish his work, it will be what is best. He protects my soul and guides my path for his namesake. I am to be an image bearer, not a god.


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The Delight of the Eyes and the Desire of the Heart

It sneaks into our vision and traps our eyes as if they are held captive. The characters remind us of people we know, and we awkwardly relate to their situations. Perhaps we even find a sense of community as we laugh at the same time as the “studio audience.” How does this happen? How can we so quickly be pulled into a place where we weep and laugh over the lives of people that do not exist? True, the actors are real, but our minds and emotions are held captive by fictitious characters in fictitious situations. So much so that we will express heartbreak when the season ends, our favorite character is killed, or the show gets canceled.

It is no secret that we are a society of entertainment and amusement. Movies on demand, amusement parks, hobbies, social media, and video games offer us a means of escape. We find comfort in being distracted from reality and being able to elude the problems of the world, if even for only an hour or two. Most find it amazing how quickly time passes as they scroll through a newsfeed.

As a believer, husband, father, and pastor I often find myself asking why I find certain activities entertaining. Accosted by endless mediums of amusement, we effortlessly lax the mind, forgetting there is a battle for our thoughts. Peter writes to the church and urges the believers to “be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) Is it possible that our entertainment is affecting us more than we know?

A State of Mind

Peter’s call to the church is for them to stay alert. There is a sense of urgency and awareness because of the presence of an enemy that is prowling for destruction. Therefore, we are to be mindful of our present circumstances. That seems to stand opposed to the idea of amusement. We need to look no further than the meaning of this word to understand why.

One author explained it this way: To muse, means to be absorbed in thought. It is a verb that involves the engagement of the mind in an activity. The suffix -ment means “to be in the state of.” Putting these two things together means that “musement” is to be in the state of thinking. (No, musement is not a word, as I sit here and type, the spell check is notifying me that I have again misspelled another word.) What begins to make sense is that when we add the prefix a- to the beginning of the word it negates the word. For instance, if we said someone was amoral, it would mean they have no morals or seem to be unconcerned with morality. When we place a- and -musement together we learn that we are in the state of not thinking.

If Peter calls us to be mindful, it seems that a state of amusement stands in opposition to the urging of Apostle. My purpose is not to make sure you never ride a rollercoaster again or are never entertained. Instead, I want you to realize the danger of letting our guard down. It is no secret our entertainment often involves actions we publicly profess as being immoral and wrong.

A State of Heart

We know our heart better than anyone else. As a believer, we are often keenly aware of the cesspool of sin that our heart and mind fall victim to as the fleshly desires of the world ooze up from depths we would like to keep hidden from everyone. We work hard to tame our actions so that no one knows the wickedness that creeps out on occasion. Yes, the heart is deceitful, and our salvation does not change the struggle, it makes us aware of it. As we are brought into the holiness of God by the work of Christ, the light of glory shines in the hideous parts of our lives – that place is where the entrapment lies.

When the state of our mind is lackadaisical, our depravity pours forth. Could it be that the focus of our amusement is the sinfulness of the heart finding a safe place of refuge? Is it possible that the lessening of our guard not only allows the lion to attack freely but shows us that within the clenches of his jaws are parts of our heart that we gladly surrender?

Sobering the Mind

Not all entertainment is spiritual poison, but we would be foolish to deny that poison lies within some of its forms that we enjoy. How do we stay on guard? How do we watch for the footprints of sin and listen for the footsteps of the one that desires to steal, kill, and destroy? I want to give you three questions to ask as you delight in entertainment:

        Is this the delight of the Lord?

The fictitious characters and fictitious circumstances are intended to portray something that is real. If it was real, would it be something in which the Lord delights? Do actions of the characters resonate with the glory we are saved to or the sin we were saved from? When we are scrolling through our newsfeed enticed by the “click-bait” that pervades the pictures of our friends, it is often pretty easy to tell if God delights in the content of the link from the image and the title.

Am I asking people to participate in things that lead to death?

Often, we are delighting in the actions of the unregenerate. They are fulfilling the desires of the flesh, and we are enjoying their journey. Two people entertain us in a sexual encounter, and we applaud the love story that we know dishonors the beauty of marriage, as given to us by our heavenly Father. We know the wages of sin is death, but it is not us; therefore, we treat it as no consequence. The characters and circumstances may be fictitious, but the actors are real people. Even their “pretend” actions are having an eternal impact on their souls – and ours.

Is there something better?

No, I am not telling you to turn off your Netflix and read your Bible. (Though that might not be a bad idea!) We know that as we participate in these forms of entertainment we are feeding the fleshly desire found in Galatians 5:19-21: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I am challenging you to see if there is something that helps you exercise the holiness to which God calls you: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Is there something you can be doing that will help you in your journey, becoming more like Christ.

Cultivating a Desire

I do not expect the questions I have given to be a solution for keeping our eyes and hearts from sin – that is an impossible task this side of glory, yet one to which we should still strive. However, I do hope that it allows you to join with me in staying sober-minded in moments of entertainment – to be entertained with our minds in a state of “musement.” As believers, we should delight in the things of God, which also means we delight in the things which he delights. May God grant us the desire to align our desires with his.

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Posted by on January 8, 2019 in Christian Living


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