Conformed to the Image of Christ
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” Phillipians 3:10-11
“Conform me to the image of Christ,” I have prayed. “I want to be conformed to the image of Christ,” people say. “We need to be Christ-like,” people encourage others. “We should act like Christ,” preachers preach. The words are so fancy, the idea so wonderful, the concept so exciting. Oh, to be like the Lord! To be loving, kind, patient, giving, etc. We toss the words around, we pray the prayers, we aspire to be like Him, but do we really understand what this means – and what this really takes, and what price we will really pay, no matter how incredible the reward? For years, I figured I should aspire to be like Christ, and then I stumbled upon a scripture that best summed up what I had discovered over time. The Truth.
To live and be like Christ, we need to suffer and die like Christ. We need to turn from our sins and the ways of this world, and turn to the Lord and to His ways. We need to die to our own selves to live for Him. We need to suffer in the flesh by resisting temptation so we can be fully alive in Him. We need to say no to hatred so we can love, say no to meanness so we can be kind, put away impatience so we can be patient, stop being selfish so we can be giving, not be greedy but instead give, and this is not all. We need to suffer the trials and tribulations of this life as Christ did so God by His Spirit in the midst of them can smooth out our rough edges, purge us of our atrocities, refine us, purify us, transform us, sanctify us, chisel out the unseemly parts and pieces, develop us, teach us, making us ever more like Christ.
The reward on earth of growing ever closer to the Lord as we suffer and die to our own selves no matter our trials, of the love we find in Him, is unimaginable, yet nothing compared with the life we can look forward to in eternity.
Ready to be conformed to the image of Christ? Be willing to die to self as He prepares you to live forever with Him!