Today’s and tomorrow’s thoughts are pretty hard to swallow for those who don’t believe. And even when we have determined to set our course by the Word of God, this is all still a mystery — the mystery of God’s relationship with His sons and daughters. We haven’t even begun to plumb the depths of this hope.
But standing firm in this hope will completely change how we look at ourselves and at our brothers and sisters in Christ’s kingdom.
Spirit, give us a glimpse of what you have planned for us.
Ephesians 4 encourages us to put on the new nature that God created in each of us. This new nature was created to be like God. (verse 24)
His purpose is to change us, every day, bringing more and more of His own character into full bloom in our lives, until our mortal dust is swallowed up by His immortal glory.
And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
The Greek word used here that we translate “changed” means “to change fundamentally and completely from one state to another.” Wow. Changed from me to him.
Are you thinking the same things I’ve thought or said myself? “I am so far from being God’s masterpiece. I’d like to think of myself that way, but those old, ugly habits still rise up, too often. I have those days when I am everything but holy. I am so far from what God wants me to be.”
And sometimes we even think, “I’m hopeless. I’ll never get this right.”
Yet this is God’s promise: the old can be gone. The new has come. And the new nature He created in us was created to be like Him. The Spirit is working to make us “more and more like Him.”
Do you know what this means? It means there’s hope for me … even on those days when I feel “hopeless”!
Because the life I’m living now was birthed by God. He’s nurturing it and has big plans for my new life.
Is it so hard to believe that the Spirit of Christ changes us to be like Him? We accept that this happens on a human level. Within hours of a child’s birth, people are looking for Daddy’s dimples or Mom’s eyes or Big Sister’s nose. We take it further than the physical; we say that “He has his dad’s business savvy” or “She’s got her grandfather’s gumption” or “She inherited her mother’s sweet disposition.”
This birth of a new nature in us was a birth from God, and He birthed His character in us. That’s a pretty daring thing to say, isn’t it? Yet there it is in Scripture, in God’s Word to tell us exactly what He’s about.
C.S. Lewis describes our new nature in this way in Mere Christianity:
God became man to turn creatures into sons: not simply to produce better men of the old kind but to produce a new kind of man. It is not like teaching a horse to jump better and better but like turning a horse into a winged creature. Of course, once it has got its wings, it will soar over fences which could never have been jumped and thus beat the natural horse at its own game. But there may be a period, while the wings are just beginning to grow, when it cannot do so: and at that stage the lumps on the shoulders—no one could tell by looking at them that they are going to be wings—may even give it an awkward appearance.
The lumps on your shoulders might look and feel awkward. But I am certain they are growing into wings!
I am certain of that, because I believe that God keeps His promises.
Give me an undivided heart…
(from Psalm 86:11)
© Elaine Starner 2015