Becoming Is a Journey*

In numerous places in the New Testament, it is stated that we are predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29 for example). This transformation is from one degree of glory to the next into His likeness (1 Cor. 3:18). This becoming is God’s work in us by the working of His grace (1 Cor. 15:10). But, as we are being transformed, we are constantly dealing with three vulnerabilities (see below). These vulnerabilities can absorb us. For each vulnerability that could trip us up in our journey of becoming, we must develop countermoves, intentional reactions to override the instinctive or knee-jerk reactions.
  1. We are “earthly.” Life, as it is lived on earth, is our default mode. Survival and happiness becomes dominant in focus. It’s what we know, the familiar. We can care too much about some parts of it and too little about other parts of the earthly. Some things I turn into idols — even my family, my job, my children. Other things I neglect.
    My countermove is healthy worship. I habitually restore Him as my God, my Sovereign over each part of the earthly life. I put Jesus in the center. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live. The life I now live in this body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
  2. We are “fleshly.” Earth-life robs us of significance, happiness, value, etc. Adam and Eve were at the pinnacle of Creation — co-heirs and co-rulers of God’s Very Good creation. Sin exposed them and sent them scurrying for fig leaves to cover up. We too scurry for fig leaves to try to cover our nakedness, our sinfulness. We want to find clothes to restore the significance, happiness, value, etc. that was ours at Creation. Our focus is on these rather than on the One who leads us to them.
    My countermove is frequent timeouts spent seeking the Holy Spirit’s lead, mini-sabbaths to quiet myself from frantic searching to hear God’s voice speak into my heart.
  3. We are “needy.” We have experienced being run over, let down, rejected, passed over, but maybe also being pampered and spoiled. Either way, we develop expectations and coping mechanisms as a response to being taken advantage of, abused, or overlooked.
    My countermove is a growing trust in God as my security and my provider in all matters. I will rest in Him and trust him for my needs.
“Becoming” (sometimes called sanctification) is a journey of growing our trust in Him so it outweighs doing what feels normal, what feels good or fun, and what has “worked” for us in the past. We want to move past doing what comes naturally to doing what is supernatural; that which is empowered by the Spirit of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Men, this is especially for us. We hide behind layers of masks to hide our insecurities. We are sure that everyone else has it all together, but us. The vulnerabilities rage at full volume in our souls so that we cannot hear God’s still small voice. But God’s work to make us like Christ cannot be thwarted: “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
 
At His coming, we will arrive spiritually. But even now He would have you “become.” Let the Spirit have His way with you as you resist the fleshly, the earthly and our neediness and choose countermoves that will override the natural. Daily peace accompanies those who trust in Him, Christopher
 
With acknowledgements to Bob Fox, retired Evangelical Free Church pastor from Phoenix area and elsewhere. He shared the kernels of each point during our Pastors Huddle last Wednesday. It spoke to me as a man striving to be a godly leader and I thought you Dads might connect with it as well. 
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