“To be nobody-but-yourself – in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” E.E. Cummings (Poet)
The Bible states in Romans 12 not to let the world squeeze you into its mould. I always tell young people that they also should not let the Church squeeze you into its mould either. That’s religion. Jesus came to destroy religion as it is man’s attempt to please God. Jesus came to offer us a relationship with God the Father – relationship … not religion. And, withing that relatiosnhip, to introduce us to our real selves formed in His image and wonderful in His sight.
As Christians who have a relationship with God we are being FORMED, REFORMED and TRANSFORMED. We are to follow Jesus and, as we do, we are to take on more and more of His character, attitude, actions, and work. As Christians we are always working towards “spiritual formation”. This is what most of the Christian disciplines (prayer, fasting, Bible reading…) are all about. They are not ends in themselves but a means to an end – the end being – walking closely beside Jesus and becoming just like Him so we can do what He did and still does.
In the Church today there is much too much AUTOMORPHOSIS – self-transformation accomplished by will power, self-help information and goal setting. We need to see a lot more THEOMORPHOSIS or God-transformation of self. Spiritual formation is not “self-transformation” but “Christ-formation.” It is allowing Jesus to change us into His image and not going the “self-help” route that many churches today teach so much about … nicely disguised in Christian terminology.
Paul said, “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth, until Christ is formed in you.” (Galatians 4:19). And again, “We proclaim Him…so that we may present everyone perfect [complete] in Christ.” You cannot become ‘perfect’ in God’s eyes using your own will power even if you availed yourself of all the self-help information in the world. You can only become like Jesus who is perfect when you follow Him and let Him transform you. Not AUTOMORPHOSIS but THEOMORPHOSIS.
So, let Christ continue to FORM you … afteralll, He created you
You will be REFORMED, restructured, reorgainzed , altered and generally improved.
He will TRANSFORM you and into His image.
This is part of being a follower or disciple of the Lord Jesus!