Wednesday, July 21, 2010

GOD'S PURPOSE: To Conform Us Into The Image Of Christ

by: Grace Place

No matter what takes place in our lives, God's plan for us is to conform us into the image of the Son. Why? Because He has made us complete in Christ. He is now working into our everyday lives those things that are already ours in Christ. 

We have all read or heard the Potter and Clay analogy, and probably many teachings on that subject. We can all agree that the Potter decides,before he begins to build, the object that he is going to create. In his mind, he already knows what that clay will become, and he has already planned out his way of accomplishing what he has determined for the clay to become. He is not dependent on how the clay will respond, nor does he consult the clay prior to shaping. He is able to make the clay into what he wants it to be and he already sees the finished product before he even begins. Therefore, every step he takes in the molding and making of his creation is to accomplish just one purpose: make the clay into what he has predestined it to be.

The same is true for God's purpose in our lives. He is the Potter and we are simply the clay. He is not dependent on us, we are dependent on Him. We must trust Him to make us the way He has planned. His ultimate goal, no matter what path is taken, is to make us like His Son. We cannot make ourselves this way, no matter how earnest we are. That is the job of the Holy Spirit alone, for He works in accordance with the will of God. We do not have the ability, the vision, or the power to do this ourselves. What a heavy burden it would be to try and make ourselves more like Christ in our own efforts. If clay tried to mold itself, it would be a wreck, and probably unrecognizable.

What is amazing is that according to God, we are already complete in Christ, right now! He has declared us so, even if we don't appear in the natural to be. But we spend a lot of time and effort trying to become the Christian we think we should be. We compare ourselves to others and take religious inventory of our lives to measure the caliber of Christian we are. I think either way leads to a distorted view of who we are, for we measure things in our own understandings instead of through the truth of who we are in Him. God does not exist in the constraint of time and has placed us in Christ and say that we are seated with Him in the Heavenly Realms already. He did not place an unfinished creation with Him, He placed HIS completed creation there…that's us!

If it is truly finished (and it is), if we are really complete in Him (and we are), then our perspective concerning our growth as Christians must reflect these truths. Romans 6:6, 11, &13 makes this clear. We are to know that we have died to sin and now live in Christ, we must reckon or count it to be true to us personally, and then we yield to Him, for we are new creations in Christ. We are not new creations in ourselves but IN HIM! So our newness of life lies not in a so-called "fixed up" old nature, but in Him. We are complete because we are IN Him. Dear ones, you can add nothing to your identity and position in Christ because it is already finished and complete. We are just to believe it to be true, and to see ourselves as someone who has been brought from death to life, someone who has the Living God living in them, making them and molding them into what He has already declared us to be. We are just going through the process in which He conforms us into the image of Christ.

There is no labor for us, there is nothing to figure out, there is nothing we need to do to earn His love and acceptance, there is nothing we can do in and of ourselves and our strengths that add to our new life in Christ. He is the one that can and will accomplish His plans for our lives.

We just need to abide in Him and be patient with His timing and offer ourselves to Him. We don't offer ourselves to Him so that we can become His, we offer ourselves to Him because we are no longer our own, for we have been bought with a price. We don't decide how He will conform us into the image of Christ, He does.

Can we give up all of our worldly efforts? Can we give others and ourselves a break? Can we just trust Him to do it? Can we lives with the Way He will do it. Can we just BE and stop from figuring out how to DO? Remember we are human beings not human doings.

If we just surrender ourselves to Him, if we just lay down our defenses and weaponry, and entrust Him, our spiritual growth will flourish! If we take our hands off the "clay" of our lives, we won't fall apart. We will enjoy the peace and rest that accompanies a close personal relationship with our Creator and Lord. We are in the hands of our loving Savior, who is at every moment with us, working in us, molding us, ministering to us, calling us to come and abide. He doesn't tell us to take our yoke upon us, no, He tells us to take His yoke upon us and cast our burdens on Him.

Can we yield to God in the shaping of our lives? He will do it anyway, because He is the one who is at work in us, both to will and to work according to HIS good pleasure. He is the Potter and we are just the clay.....

We cannot thwart God's plan for us. He is the one that has predetermined what we are to become, He is the one that provide the way and the means, and only He can bring it to completion in our daily lives. What then could we do to change it? Clay can never say, "No, I don't want to be this or that." It is under the control of the master maker. We don't have a choice when it comes to being conformed into the image of the Son. Just because we don't see the end result or how He will get us there doesn't mean He will no be able to accomplish it. Remember He who called you is faithful, and He will do it. We are just to seek Him and depend on Him to work into our character all that He has already declared us to be.

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