LOOKING LIKE OUR FATHER
‘Until Christ is formed in you.’ Galatians 4:19
When you become a Christian you discover that part of you wants to walk ‘in newness of life’ (Romans 6:4), while another part wants to walk ‘according to the flesh’ (Romans 8:5). And you would, if it weren’t for God’s Spirit who lives in your divided house and ‘groans’ when you do certain things, challenging you with God’s Word (see John 16:7-14). Your heart is still living in your old body.
One author writes: ‘When I first came to Christ I thought others had mastered a level of holiness that always eluded me. So I attacked my carnality with passion! I didn’t realise that everything that’s born needs time to grow. I was expecting an immediate, all-inclusive metamorphosis that would make me the person God could really love. I now realise his love isn’t doled out on a merit system: if you do well, he loves you and if you don’t, he doesn’t.’
God doesn’t want do-it-yourself righteousness. The Bible says, ‘He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ’ (Philippians 1:6). Paul writes, My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you’ (Galatians 4:19). God alone knows the process it will take for the Christ who saved you to be formed in you! We each travel our own paths at our own pace, but our goal is the same: to bear a greater resemblance to our heavenly Father. And getting us there is God’s job – so let him do it. Your job is to keep walking with him day by day as he does it.
– Excerpt from ‘The Word for Today’