This last century has seen tremendous changes due to the advancement in every field, whether it be technology, medicine, education, travel – progress has brought great changes. How much more is God seeking change in me? We know that our mortal bodies will be changed “in the twinkling of an eye” to the immortal at “the last trump” (1 Corinthians 15:52-54), but meanwhile God is seeking us to be conformed to the likeness and image of His Son, Jesus Christ, to show His love to the world, (Ephesians 4:13).
Romans 12:1-2 “….present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, acceptable and perfect will of God.”
The greatest miracle took place at the immaculate conception of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit, but when we were “born again” and accepted Jesus into our hearts, we were overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and received the Spirit of God’s Son, the Indwelling Christ, hence we use the phrase “born again”. We are living miracles! This is when the change in us began but now it continues as the Lord permits circumstances for us to be conformed into the image of His Son. Those who have received Christ’s salvation can identify with the words of the song:
Overwhelmed by Your love for me,
I am forgiven because of Calvary,
Transformed for eternity,
Indwelt by Deity.”
The metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly is an amazing wonder to behold, but a greater miracle takes place when a man is born again. The journey of transformation begins as the Son of God increases in measure and stature as a man walks humbly with God.
In the natural, man often does not like to leave his comfort zone, have his roots disturbed but progress cannot take place without change. God will not be satisfied until He sees the likeness and image of His Son formed deeply into our lives. How does the change come to pass that He is seeking? In the Old Testament we read that God will not give the glory (Hebrew – the credit due to God alone) to another, Isaiah 48:11 “…I will not give my glory unto another”. In the New Testament we read of Jesus praying for His disciples (John 17), and for all future Believers (verse 20), “ And the glory which you gave me, I have given them,” (verse 22). The glory Jesus speaks of here, is the shekinah glory of His presence which is our birthright when we are born again. Our Heavenly Father wants us to live in it, but this wonderful gift of promise is inextricably linked to God receiving the credit for our lives lived through His Son. Our Lord Jesus was the only one who could be totally trusted with His Father’s glory. He said, of Himself, He could do nothing, but it was His Father working through Him that performed the mighty works of power and miracles. He always gave His Father the credit in all matters. Jesus is our pattern man demonstrating how to live our lives through Him.
God is righteously jealous for His glory and He will not give it to another. He also jealously and zealously overshadows us, wanting to see the image of His beloved Son coming to full stature in our lives.
Since the birth of the Church men and women have made the dangerous mistake of believing that what God blesses, He sanctions. The children of Israel begged to have a king to rule over them like all the other nations. God granted their wish but that was never His highest plan for their lives. His plan was for them to honour Him as their Ruler, but they wanted a man. They wanted to conform to the world and be like everyone else. In due time they paid the price in the consequences of their choice.
God blesses because it is His nature to bless. He loves me. Because I am being blessed, or used of God, does not necessarily mean that my life is in order. In times of blessing remember that the credit/glory is all of God. The danger comes when we take what is rightfully God’s, that is, His glory, to our own character. Many have stumbled here and have had to learn that any good thing that comes out of us is due to the divine life of Jesus, flowing out through us to extend His kingdom to the world.
The grace of God is given to us to glorify God alone. When I take it to my character, it is destroyed. It is vital we learn and understand this work our Heavenly Father is doing in our lives – thus we are changed from the earthly into the heavenly.
Many in the world are seeking fame, success, renown but what God is seeking as He blesses me, is to see His Son lifted up in my life, that others will be drawn to His Son. “The glory of God is found in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6…..and He has put this priceless treasure within us! 2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, AND NOT OF US.”
So simple, so vital! God knows the motives of my heart. If I do what I do to the Lord, He accepts it. If I do what I do to promote and project myself, He will reject it as “wood, hay and stubble.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 instructs “Whether you eat, drink or WHATSOEVER you do, do ALL to the glory of God.” ALL. This is the change God is seeking in all of us: that the likeness and image of His Son will shine forth, transformed for eternity, indwelt by Deity!