“In spiritual formation, we are aiming at a character and life that is so shaped that the deeds of Christ routinely and easily come from what is inside.”
Becoming like Christ, taking on His nature, is the basis of Christian spiritual formation. Author Dallas Willard describes spiritual formation as “the process of establishing the character of Christ in the person.” The Christian life is a continuum where the longer we know Jesus, the more we become like Him.
While writing the book, Restoring Your Heart to Deepen Intimacy, the Lord impressed upon me that the journey is more important than the destination. I believe He was highlighting spiritual formation. In this case, the destination of having a published book in my hands is temporary and fleeting. Whereas the journey is about permanent transformation. How God changed me on the inside during the book writing process, will go with me for the rest of my life.
We need to pray, “Conform me, Lord, to Your image,” not just help us arrive at our destination with the finished product. God is more concerned about what He is doing inside us than what is going on outside of us. He is more interested in the growth of our relationship with Him than in a completed assignment. He cares most about the condition of our hearts and desires each of His children to become more accurate image bearers of Himself.
God uses our circumstances, usually difficult – not easy ones, to conform us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). The goal of spiritual formation is 2 Corinthians 3:18. “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” My desire each day is to look a little more like Jesus than the day before. My goal in this life is to become the spitting image of my heavenly Father.
Spiritual formation is a never-ending process until we see Jesus face-to-face. Allow God to use those hard situations in life to conform you into His image and make you look more like His Son. Let trials help you discover in a deeper way who God is and how He has designed you. Embrace what the Holy Spirit is forming within you during the journey.
“Spiritual formation for the Christian basically refers to the Spirit-driven process of forming the inner world of the human self in such a way that it becomes like the inner being of Christ himself.”
How did a difficult season transform you to look more like Christ?