Who do you look like? Your mom or your dad?
The Christian life is the process of becoming more like Jesus Christ!
People often ask: “What is God’s will for my life?” We usually think in terms of who we should marry, where we should live, what job we should have.
Those areas are certainly important, but the biggest issue of God’s will for you is that you become like His Son, Jesus Christ.
You are probably familiar with Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who know Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Verse 29 goes on to declare: "For those who God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers" (emphasis added).
God wants you to become like Jesus! He starts the process at the moment of salvation, and it will continue for the rest of your life. It will not be perfected until the moment you see Jesus face to face.
The agent of the perfecting process is the Holy Spirit. His ministry is to help you become like Jesus. He refines and molds you until you are perfect. When that happens, all of us will look alike, for we will look just like Jesus.
Donald Grey Barnhouse, the late great expository preacher, shared this story.
Several centuries ago, the Emperor of Japan commissioned an artist to paint a bird. Months passed, then years. Finally, the Emperor went to the artist’s studio to ask for (demand) an explanation. The artist set a blank canvas on the easel and in fifteen minutes completed the painting of a bird that became a masterpiece. The Emperor asked why there had been such a long delay. The artist then went from cabinet to cabinet; he produced armloads of drawings of feathers, tendons, wings, feet, claws, eyes and beaks of birds; these he placed one by one before the Emperor.
The Holy Spirit operates in the life of the believer, so that we may be conformed to the image of God’s Son (Romans 8:29). This is not done in the moment of our new birth. That moment is no more than the declaration of the divine purpose. It is just the beginning of the long work. The whole process is a detailed and painstaking progress “until Christ be formed in you” (Galatians 4:19). Then the day shall come when the Emperor of emperors will come for us, and the completed work will flash forth in a moment. “It does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).
This is the beauty and power of Christianity when compared to every other of the world’s religions. All have admirable goals: harmony with all mankind, inner peace, fulfillment, and more. The problem: All of them are absolutely and utterly impossible! Religion depends completely on man doing the work in his own efforts.
The evidence from man’s heart and the testimony of Scripture is that man’s heart is evil and unable to do what he desires and, more importantly, what God requires. But Christ died on the cross to bring forgiveness and cleansing, and He now lives His life in our lives to make us successful in pleasing the Father.
The Holy Spirit is the One who accomplishes the perfecting work of Christ in your life. He sands, molds, fashions and shapes us into who He wants us to be. May He move in and through each one of us and bring new life, just as He did on the first day of creation.
Let us give all praise and glory to Jesus Christ, our great Lord and Savior, who is doing His work in our lives!