PART 4 THE CHRISTIAN’S DESIRE
PART 4 THE CHRISTIAN’S DESIRE
TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON
I wonder how many Christians who are reading this study are surprised of what the main thing they should be focused on in their walk with God i.e., being filled with the Spirit. This is contrary to what many churches would say that their members should focus on. It’s natural and understandable for leadership to want their congregation to focus on helping the poor, giving financially, volunteering for this or that, etc. This sounds right. And there is nothing wrong with participating in these things if our thoughts and motives are appropriate. But this is where there is a lack of understanding.
Learning about the foundational truths of the Christian faith is important. Learning about the non-foundational truths such as eternal salvation, good works, forgiveness, communion, water baptism, confession of sins, obedience to the dos and don’ts of those in authority, etc., is also important. Unfortunately, many of these truths are explained as something that must be earned, as something that must be a component of salvation, or as something that produces spiritual growth.
Some might even think that being filled with the Spirit has to do with incorporating these perspectives in a believer’s walk with God. Learning about who God has made us to, how He sees us, and how we should see ourselves is often characterized by our obedience to church mandates rather than reflective of the new truths about our new nature and the new mind, the mind of Christ that is contained in God’s Word.
What I am really talking about is inner transformation and not outward obedience. Some might think that what I am suggesting is that a believer should abandon prayer, abandon attending church functions, abandon volunteering, abandon helping others, etc. This is not what I am saying. What I am saying is that our spiritual walk should begin from within.
As we are transformed in our inner heart life to resemble Jesus, this inner change will result in a change of outward expression that reflects the beauty of the Lord Jesus. This is another way of saying that as we rely on God’s perspective of us, as we learn how to address our weaknesses, and ultimately as we learn how to rely upon and recognize the leadings, promptings, and influences of the Holy Spirit, our engagements in prayer, in helping others, in obeying leadership etc., will be done with a new mind, a new attitude, and a new empowerment.
In closing, don’t let your past or present sins convince you that God can’t change you. The changes which are to occur in your life should not be based on you looking better to those in charge by your performance or change in behavior. If this serves as the basis for your acceptance, you will never learn how to address the old ways of thinking, feeling, speaking, and acting. And at some point, when you don’t recognize any inward changes, you will wonder what is the point of it all.
If you want real-life changes to take in your life, then I would recommend that you follow what I have left for you to consider.
- Attend a Spirit-filled church on a regular basis. This is a church where God’s presence shows up.
- Attend a Spirit-filled church that teaches personal sanctification i.e., teaches us how to put on the new person we have become as salvation, and how to cast off the old person who we used to be.
- Start your day by appropriating for yourself your new image in Christ.
- Meditate on Scripture throughout the day that replaces worldly thought patterns (slander, gossip, polluting imagination, evil thoughts, impure desires) about others.
- Confess known mental, verbal, and overt sin.
- Recognize sinful thoughts and replace them with godly thoughts.
- End your day by reading God’s Word, watching a Christian video, listening to an audiotape, etc.
If you follow these guidelines, you will see the fulfillment of the apostle Paul’s desire, which he expressed in prayer, take place in your life.
Phillippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
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