The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God's glory. It's that simple.
(Colossians 1:27 The Message)
During my recent trip to Virginia, we had an opportunity to go into a place where a woman sat carving decoys, taking special care to create the decoy in such a way that it resembled the "shape" of the duck. Then she spent some time painting that decoy to resemble the plumage of the real duck. After completion, she'd attach a line to the base of it, then "weight it down" with some type of sinker and it would be complete. The hunters would use these exact replicas of the real ducks to attract migrating ducks in order to trick them into landing in the ponds or marshes of the region. By the time the ducks realized that the decoys were not real, it was too late for them to take flight away from the hunters.
Some interesting things struck me about a decoy, but none so clearly as the fact that the decoy was nothing more than a lure. There was no substance to the decoy. It simply served to entrap the one who set its sights on it. I think that we can sometimes be nothing more than cleverly "painted" copies of the original - we look like a duck, and might even talk like a duck, but we don't really walk like a duck! There is that old saying, "If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, it must be a duck." That saying really came about to describe that what we see is probably what it seems to be and therefore, we should trust our judgment about it. Ummm....how's that been working for you?
Not everything we see as "real" is truthfully all that real. There are times when what we see on the surface is really not connected to anything of substance - it looks like the real thing, but upon closer inspection, it is not. So, the old idiom of "if it looks like a duck" is really not all that reliable. Our judgment is not based on what we see "on the surface" - it is based on what is at the core. For the decoy in the pond, the core is nothing more than a carved piece of wood! That wood is not living, it is not connected to anything living, and it has no capability of reproducing life again! It has been disconnected from the tree so long that it is dead! What we see on the surface is definitely not "connected" to what once gave it life. It has a "new form", but it is a lifeless form!
The same can be true of us. We are definitely "images" of Christ - Christ IN us gives us that capability of bearing his image. Yet, we are not always connected to that which gives us the source of life that causes that "surface image" to be trustworthy! If we are not connected to Christ in a vital daily worship of him, we soon lose connection to that which gives us the reality of his life "under the surface". I am not just talking about taking time to praise him or sing some hymn of worship to him. I am referring to the vital connection we make with him each day. For me, it begins with this blog. It is my time of connecting - allowing him to pour into me lessons from things I see, hear, and touch. It is a time when he takes his Word and makes it practical in my life. That is worship - yielding long enough that he has a chance to speak into our lives.
We can be content with being a decoy - all surface, but no substance. OR...we can choose to "be connected" to that which gives us the animation of life. It is that animation of life that actually gives us substance. That is why I think Paul said that when we realize that CHRIST IN US, the one that transforms us and brings us into the closeness of relationship with our Creator God that we were originally created for, that we are connected to that which has the power and potential of bringing GLORY into our lives. Glory is really something that gives an object great distinction. In other words, it is Christ IN us that distinguishes us from the decoys!
Decoys are weighted down - the real ducks can fly! The decoy has hardness at its core - we have been given a soft and pliable new heart! Decoys lure in the unsuspecting - real ducks follow their leader! There are a lot more lessons from the decoys, but you get the idea! Decoy or Real? You choose today which place you will fulfill in the pond of life!