As we begin this study it is important to raise awareness that people of every race, culture, religion, gender, and denominational preference may have false images of which they unknowingly pay homage. False images are passed down from generation to generation.
"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me"(Ex 20:4-5KJV).
Much of what we believe as true our parents taught us. Even if we had model parents all humans have feet of clay. The Bible clearly teaches that every human being enters the world with a bent to sin. We enter a world of lies and we naturally conform to those lies. Only in Christ can you destroy every false image you cling to and conform to His true image.
"For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren"(Rom 8:29NAS).
As you conform to His image every false image that you have of yourself and of God will shatter.
The false images we conform to affect our outward appearance and behavior. The true image we have representing Christ is first inward and progresses to the outward. People who are born again always have an inward change. Why? Because they not only believe in Christ they repent of their ways and thoughts. As you commune with Christ and read His word your thoughts are going to take on a different slant. Prayer and reading the Bible renews your mind to think like God. There's so much in scripture that goes against what we think on a daily basis.
"... and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him 11--a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all"(Col 3:10-11NAS).
The revelation of who Jesus Christ is to you and your acceptance of that revelation begins the shattering of all false images you have of yourself and of God.
"But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves: 14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God"(Ex 34:13-14KJV).
What is a false image? Any image you hold of God that differs from the true image of God as revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature"(Col 1:15KJV).
If you profess Christ you should dismiss the concept of a false image like that of a household idol, such as a Buddha or some other religious idol. Most professing Christian will not have such “false images” in their homes rather their images will be invisible but nonetheless very real. Images are extremely powerful. False images always rest on a lie. Christians have false images of God as well as themselves. A false image is something that shows forth a lie. What are the patterns of behavior you have that show you believe a lie? The Bible indeed tells us to speak truth to one another. Do you know the person you lie to the most is yourself? So therefore, every pattern of behavior that does not glorify God in your life is based on a false image you have either of yourself or your Lord.
"Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him"(Col 3:9-10NAS).
If you have pride or selfish ambition in your life it will show forth in your demeanor. You are showing forth a false image rather than the image of Christ. You are living a lie. You cannot have a good relationship with anyone when you are living a lie. If you are fearful and full of shame you are showing forth a lie. In Christ there is no pride... there is no condemnation or fear.
"But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there"(James 3:14-16NKJV).
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit"(Rom 8:1KJV).
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.19 We love him, because he first loved us.20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also"(1 John 4:18-21KJV).
False images make it impossible for you to have a real relationship with God or with the people God places in your life. They affect your love toward God and others. When you have a false image operating in your own life you will also have misguided expectations of people and situations. If you believe you are inferior, you are more apt to believe people will not accept you. You will actually expect people to look on you with contempt. False images of God affect your expectations of God. If you think of God as a punisher you will expect punishment from God and you will often think that the bad things that happen to you are sent by God. If you have an image of God as a fault-finder you will expect His displeasure with you whenever you are not "perfect".
God is a jealous God. His jealousy over you is due to the deep love He has for you. Whenever you look to anyone or anything other than God to meet your needs you provoke His jealousy. His desire for you is to meet your needs and give you your deepest desires. He is the only one who can fulfill your deepest longings.
"Be careful not to forget the covenant of the LORD your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the LORD your God has forbidden. 24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God"(Deut 4:23-24NIV).
The false images you have of God keep you from a loving and intimate relationship with the Lord. He desires for you to come to Him and love Him fully. God cannot and will not attach Himself to a lie. When we fully surrender to God, every false image we hold He will consume with the fire of His love. We must come out of anything that is false in our life.
Is a false image of God holding you back from complete surrender to God your Father? Read the gospels and become familiar with the nature of Jesus. When you look at Jesus He's irresistible. Everything He is the Father is.
"Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work"(John 14:9-11NIV).
Ask the Lord Jesus to reveal Himself to you in all His fullness. Ask Him to show you the lies you believe about Him as well as yourself and others. This is the first step in breaking free from false images. Revelation is the key to breaking free from all that binds and holds you back.