What do you see when you look in the mirror? The terrible “Ts” (trials, tests, tribulations, temptations, & troubles) of Life tends to make us focus on other things over who we really are. One of Satan’s biggest weapons is distraction. The enemy wants us to focus on world’s lies rather than the Truth of God’s Word. And, because of our sinful nature, sometimes it is easier to give in rather than take up the good fight. Anxiousness, depression, guilt, fear, bitterness, offense, unforgiveness, and doubt are all signs that something else has captured our gaze.
“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” [Genesis 1:26 NIV]
“When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them.” [Genesis 5:1-2a NIV]
“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” [Romans 8:29-30 NIV]
Despite our fallen nature, we as Christians have been called into something glorious – we have been transformed into the likeness of Christ. From the beginning, God tells us that we are created in His image. So why is it that we don’t see the image of the Godhead looking back at us? The image is there, we just need to bring it into clear focus. Becoming more like Christ should be the desire of every believer.
However, the fact that God will transform us into Christ-likeness doesn’t mean we can sit back and be carried to heaven without lifting a finger. The process demands our willing cooperation with the Holy Spirit. Becoming more Christ-like requires both divine power and the fulfillment of human responsibility. Here are three things we can do in our natural power to contribute to our being more Christ-like: 1) surrender to God; 2) desire to be free from sin; and 3) grow spiritually.
1) Becoming more Christ-like is the result of surrendering to God. Romans 12:1-2 says that worship involves a total self-dedication to God. That means, we volunteer our bodies as “living sacrifices,” and allow our minds to be renewed and transformed. Consequently, we focus more and more on Jesus and His glory, losing ourselves in His will.
2) Becoming more Christ-like is the result of freedom from sin. Since Jesus lived a sinless life, the more we consider ourselves “dead to sin” and live a life of purity, the more like Jesus we will become. As we offer ourselves to God, sin is no longer our master, and we are more clearly identified with Christ. When it comes to restraining sin in our lives, we have divine help. Praise the Lord for the Word of God, the intercession of Christ, and the power of the Spirit who indwells us that we do not have to take on sin on our own accord! Don’t let the devil fool you into condemnation (when you sin – and we ALL do). “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” [Romans 8:1 NIV]. Christ’s blood was shed for the remission of our sins – All of them. When we sin, we should feel a conviction, not condemnation. Conviction will make us desire to NOT do that sin again because it is ugly to God.
3) Becoming more Christ-like is the result of Christian growth. When we are first saved, we are immature in: wisdom, knowledge, and inexperienced in grace and love. But then we grow, and each of these things change to become stronger—and more Christ-like.
Don’t believe the lies. If you don’t see the image of Christ being reflected in your mirror of Life, you are not lost…only distracted. Every good mechanic knows that you must use the right tool for the job to get the desired results. Use the tools – the Word of God, surrender your Will, grow Spiritually, live Righteously – and watch that image look less of you, and more like Christ.
Be Blessed- Isaac Bridges