The power for a Christlike character comes from Christ. But the responsibility for developing and displaying that character is ours”1
I’m glad to know that me becoming Christlike is driven by His power, the same power that made lame men walk, blind men see and healed lepers. Because reality is, in order for me to become Christlike I need daily healing, from the trouble I get myself into. So thanks be to God its by His power that I am able to be changed.
Though, just how a non-engaged light bulb is useless, so is that Christ power in me if I dont do something with it. It is our responsibility as Christians to develop our character to become like that of Christ. Developing this takes putting ourselves in intentional growth situations and seasons as well as using the right tools once there.
One tool that helps us and is necessary for growth is proper devotion to God. This is far deeper then 10 or 15 minutes of reading in the morning. If this time is actually to produce any sort of fruit in our Christlike character, it needs to have depth. We need to go beyond reading words on a page to experiencing a time of communion with God. Don’t let that word communion throw you, thinking thats only something that involves bread and juice at church. Instead take it as an image, that daily you can enter into His courts, and enjoy a meal with, and from Him. A famous quote of Jesus was “I am the Bread of Life, whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”2 Take part in that! When we begin to understand the depth of having God provide our daily nourishment, thats when true character development starts. It takes sacrifice though. Jesus, despite having crowds of thousands following Him around, He daily, intentionally made private time to hear from God, this time was precious, and sacrificial… “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.”3 If you’re like myself, mornings are very precious, so to get up before the sun, and spend time communing with God would be extremely sacrificial. Reality is, it would be beyond worth it.
Jesus chose to spend that time in prayer. If our prayer is to be effective in communicating with God, and causing growth in our lives, the type of prayer that needs to be properly tapped into is deep, honest and reverent communication with The Almighty. This is the second tool to intentionally developing our character. In an amazing message on prayer one said this “If you want to humble a man, ask him about his private prayer life.”4 Now only you and I know the depth, or shallowness of our conversations with The Everlasting, take time to think about it, honestly. Is your prayer life intentionally helping you to develop in godliness, draw near to God, rely on and hear from God?
Keep in mind that although this intentional developing of our character is difficult, requires sacrifice and for us to be honestly evaluating our private lives, we can overcome the difficulty through His infinite power in and through us. The apostle Paul puts it this way in his own life… “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”5 That upward call…the same one you and I have, receive salvation, then develop and display it in a Christlike character.
Press on friend.
1|Bridges, Jerry – The Fruitful Life 2|John 6:35 3|Mark 1:35 4|Joel Beeke – Cultivating Prayer as a Pastor 5|Philippians 3:14