“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;”
Romans 8:29, NAS
Have you seen the work-out videos that promise to reshape your body? They offer assurances that with the purchase of these tapes, you can flatten your stomach, tighten your bottom, slim your thighs, build your chest and in many other ways mold yourself into the perfect specimen of humanity…and all for only $29.95!
Unfortunately, the cost is much greater than the price of the video. They actually expect you to do what the people on the tape are doing, right along with them. What most of us are looking for is a way to get the same results without all the effort. Any inconvenience, discomfort or pain involved must be removed prior to our involvement.
As silly as that sounds, we tend to think that way in spiritual terms when we hear that God wants to conform us to the image of His Son. Who would not want that? But we also want to make it clear…Any inconvenience, discomfort or pain must be removed prior to our involvement!
When the work begins, the usual response is to resist the hand of God as He reshapes our lives to conform to the image of Christ. Unlike the telling evidence of our lack of physical conditioning, our spiritual condition sometimes deceives us into thinking that we do not need much work. We rebel against the uncomfortable means He sometimes chooses to accomplish His work.
We are inadequate to live holy, Christ-like lives until God intervenes and shows us how desperately we need to submit to His touch. He cares far more about our character than He does our comfort. To conform us to the image of His Son is a life-long work, but one to which the Father is totally committed.
QUESTION: To what extent does Philippians 1:6 encourage you about God’s steadfastness, or discourage you about how much work still remains? When God’s conditioning of our spiritual lives includes tough going, are you more likely to complain or give thanks? Does the fact that God is good and does only what is good, shape your response to hard times?