God knew what He was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love Him along the same lines as the life of His son… We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in Him – Romans 8:29
God created us to images of Him. We are called to live godly lives, not to follow every trend that tries to tell us we are gods. We are not gods; God is the only true GOD! Becoming like Christ does not mean we lose our uniqueness, or become mindless clones. Christlikeness is all about transforming our character, growing spiritually and in wisdom. This life is not about us but about God. We exist for His purpose.
It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to produce Christ like character in us. II Corinthians 3:18 says, “As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect His glory even more.” This process of changing to become like Christ is called sanctification, our third purpose in life. We are not powerful enough to reproduce the character of Jesus on our own strength, but Philippians 2:13 tells us, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” Christlikeness is achieved when we yield our lives to Jesus, and allow Him live through us. In real life, this happens when we choose to do the right thing, and then trust the Holy Spirit to give us His power, love, faith and wisdom to do it. These steps should help us:
We must cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s work: Obedience unlocks God’s power. We have to move ahead in our weaknesses, doing the right things in spite of our fears to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. Salvation does not require effort, but spiritual growth certainly does. In Ephesians 4: 22-24 Paul outlines our three responsibilities in becoming like Christ.
- Everything… connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it!
- Let the Spirit change your way of thinking because; we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.
- Put on the new self, created to be like Godin true righteousness and holiness.
God uses His word, people, and circumstances to mold us: All three are indispensible for this character development we’re talking about. His Word provides the truth, His people provide support, and circumstances provide the environment we need to practice Christlikeness. It’s impossible to grow to Christlikeness in isolation. You must interact with people to manifest this growth. Spiritual maturity can be summarized as learning to love like Jesus, and we can’t do that in isolation.
I write these posts on my bed. While writing, I feel like I’m growing, becoming more like Christ, all is good. As soon as I step out of my room, and humans start being humans, I see myself being so human and sinful in my responses to rudeness, annoyance, etc. I have failed time and again, but I will keep trying my best to mirror God’s love. Practice makes perfect.
Becoming like Christ is a long, slow process of growth: Spiritual maturity will take the rest of your life. We will forever be a work-in-progress, there’s no spiritual expert on earth. Our growth will be completed when we get to heaven, or when Jesus returns.
I always wished God would reveal what career I should do, but I’m beginning to understand that many different careers could be in God’s will for my life; all He cares about is that whatever I do, I do in a Christ like manner. The Message’ translation of Romans 12:2 explains it best,
“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
Food for thought: In what area of my life do I need to ask for the Spirit’s power to be like Christ today?