Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Four Simple Words...That Changed Me

               It has always been the prayer of my heart to be the woman God wants me to be, to be the wife my husband needs, the mother my children need, the servant, the friend, the sister, all these areas of my life, my one desire is to please the Lord in them and be who He wants me to be. As I prayed this prayer again the other day, the words, “conformed to His image” came into my head. I pondered on them for a few days, and then prayed and asked for understanding of what He was trying to teach me. I found His answer to my prayers in the following verse.
  “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might become the first born among many brethren.” Romans 8:29. (Italics added)
                We, all of us, whether women, men, children, we as believers are to be conformed to the image of His son, Jesus Christ. To be conformed means to have the same form as another. We are to become like Christ. Years ago there was the “What Would Jesus Do” movement that swept the nation. We were to ask ourselves, “What would Jesus Do?” In some respects that was good and right, but we need to come to a place in our hearts that we no longer ask, but we react just as Jesus would. We are to become like Him in every aspect of our lives.
                Going to church on Sunday, reading our bibles and singing worship songs in the car on our way to work is all good, but there is so much more to being a Christian than this. The first place we were called Christians was in the church at Antioch. (Acts 11:26) They were called Christians because they were “Christ-like”. The people saw them and knew that because of the way they acted, spoke and all their deeds were seen to be like Christ’s. Can we say the same about our lives? When I post on Facebook, or I go out into the world, whom do others see? Do they see me or do they see Christ first?
                An inward change has to take place in our nature when we allow God to work in us. We have to allow Him to do to us whatever it will take to mold us, and to conform us into the image of His Son. It is His desire; His design for us-it’s why you were created. Believers must allow God to make them Christ-like, not only imitating Christ, but allowing God to make us more and more like His beloved Son. When we give our lives to Jesus Christ, we begin a journey. It does not end there, it begins there. We have been transferred from death to life by the Holy Spirit when we give Jesus our hearts and our lives.
                The Holy Spirit then begins the process that Paul is referring to in our verse today. He begins to change us, to mold us; to make us into the image of Jesus Christ, which is God’s will for your life. Jesus Christ came this earth not only to save all those who would believe on Him, but to give us a model to follow. One of the things that angers me, (He is working with me on this one) is those that call themselves Christians, but have no desire whatsoever to be conformed or molded into His image. They are content to be who they want to be and just wear the outward title of Christian like a fancy hat. There is no heart change in them.
                My desire, as I hope yours is as well, is to be conformed, to be molded and shaped into the image of Jesus Christ. I pray for God to help me be a better wife, mother, woman, etc. But instead of praying for Him to make me into what I want to be, or what I think He wants me to be, I am going to start praying that He conform me into the image of His son, Jesus Christ, for that is His true will and desire for me. In doing this, I will begin to be the wife, mother, sister, and child He created me to be.
                To pray this prayer means that I am going to have to allow Him to do whatever He chooses, whatever He wants to do to make this change in me. But He has shown me today that if I allow Him to take my heart of clay and form me to His image, then all my prayers to be who He wants me to be will be answered. We as Christians should seek and desire to be just like Christ. Some of you may be saying that is impossible, Christ was sinless; He was God in the flesh, to seek to be like Christ is unholy.
                To desire to be anything other than Christ-like is what is unholy. Christ was sinless, of that there is no doubt, He was God in the flesh, of that we are certain. But we have the Spirit of God living on the inside of us. We will sin, because we are still encamped in this body of death. But if we truly seek to be conformed to His image, then we will begin to sin less. We will never be fully free from sin until we are with Him in all His glory, but to be a Christian means that we are allowing God to transform us, to conform us, to mold us and to make us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.
                God wants to take your heart of clay, place you on His potter’s wheel and create you into the image of His Son- the question is not why, the question is are you willing? Being a Christian is more than just going to church and reading your bible. Being a Christian means that you are becoming more and more like Christ every day, and that you are allowing Him to do it in you and through you. The reason why I am lacking in the areas I am, is because I have not fully surrendered to the concept of conformation. Today, I am ready to take the plunge, for I call myself a Christian, therefore my life should be more and more Christ-like every day.
                Do not be deceived my fellow sisters, but give your hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ and allow His Holy Spirit to work in you, changing you and molding you into His image, for this is the will of God towards you. Amen and Amen.