The primary goal of the disciple of Jesus is to become like Jesus; to be spiritually formed into His likeness. This is not an option if I claim to follow Him. Please hear what Paul writes to the Corinthian Christians:
“But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:15-18)
When we turn to the Lord, truly, then we are seeking spiritual transformation. No one comes to Jesus and remains the same.
Our lives must be in proper alignment with the Spirit of God. Here Paul’s words clearly:
“For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:5-8)
“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:17)
Dallas Willard (Revolution of Character) puts it this way, “Everything we do counts for eternity and is preserved there.” Whatever we do, whatever we say, if we are a disciple of Jesus should be guided and grounded by Him.
Ken Boa (Conformed to His Image) writes these poignant words:
“There is a tension between our heavenly calling and our earthly condition. The temptation to deal with it is to compartmentalize our lives, thus making our relationship with Christ only a component of life and not the central focus of our life. This compartmentalization fosters a dichotomy between the secular and the spiritual so that the spiritual becomes something we do on certain occasions such as church, Bible studies, and devotional times. The assumption is that the more of these things we do, the more spiritual we are. By contrast, holistic spirituality stresses the centrality of Christ and his relevance to every component of our lives. This biblical alternative to a compartmentalization mentality focuses on the implications of Christ’s lordship over every aspect of life in such a way that even the most mundane components of life can become expressions of the life of Christ in us. In this way, the various secular arenas of life become spiritual to the extent that we surrender them to the lordship of Christ. In this holistic approach, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and the parts are increasingly related to the whole. There is no component of life that should remain untouched by the dominion of Jesus.”
He further adds, “If ultimate reality is an infinite and personal Being who created the cosmos and offers us the matchless privilege of an endless relationship with him, then any other good on which we could set our hearts is unworthy of comparison.” Why then, would we pursue any other relationship before this one? Why would we put our energies into anything that doesn’t bring Him glory by showing love to Him and to the people around us?
These Scriptures give me pause and lead me to self-reflection about the purpose and direction of my life.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” (Titus 2:11-14)
“And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ And He said to him, ’What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?’ And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.’ And He said to him, ’You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.’”(Luke 10:25-28)
Does every aspect of your life fall under the dominion of Jesus? Do you understand that if you have been redeemed through the sacrifice of Jesus, that you have been redeemed for a purpose? If you have not given your life to Jesus, do you understand how doing so will bring meaning to your life that is far beyond your ability to bring to it yourself?
Are you being transformed into the likeness of Jesus? Are you living the life you were meant to live?