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« Your Inexorable Future | Main | The Duty of Fear »

The Formation of Christ

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.”  Galatians 4:19 

Ultrasound pictures are technology’s latest gift to prospective mothers.  You can get them in video clips to see the fetus move.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a beautiful ultrasound.  Look at the shape of the baby at two months into the pregnancy.  I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t look all that appealing.  Thank God for the last month or two before the baby is born when it starts to get cute. 

Candace House writes, “I remember with my middle child I was so tired of being pregnant. It was August, the hottest month of the year. I wanted Bryant out by any means necessary! I started thinking like a crazy woman! I created all kinds of scenarios in my mind of how I can get him out NOW! The craziest thought I had was to throw myself down the stairs and that would surely make him come.  My doctor wanted me to be treated for depression. She said plenty of women fell into a depressed state when they were only weeks away from giving birth.”

Here is the whole thing in a nutshell.  Christ gave birth to you.  Now, you must give birth to Christ! 

Paul fought against false teachers who were leading people backwards instead of forward into Christ.  The Apostle agonized over new believers until they were established in truth.  “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.”  This passage is bigger than the problem of the Judaizers.  This is huge.  It is a life-changing, paradigm-shifting kind of principle.  Believers must get this.  “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame.” Hebrews 12:2 

The formation of Christ in you is not instantaneous.  You are living in the middle of a construction zone with its scaffolding, wet cement, blisters and shattered thumbnails.  It is success in process.  A process is a sustained transformation marked by gradual changes through a series of states; as “events now in process.”  Everything God does involves process.  Our electronic generation gets nervous when something takes more than a day.  In our failure to understand process, we abort.  We want overnight results, but God knows it may take ten years.  

Are you scared to let God change you?  Scared that you may not like what you will become? Can’t let go of what you used to be? Don’t know if you can keep the new person going? Seen too many train wrecks to have confidence in God?  Keep changing.  You will not be stuck with the ultrasound.  Don’t get scared when you see a project half completed.  Let the process unfold.  The process makes us wait, rubs our noses in the dirt, breaks our bones, skins our egos, makes us walk, and makes us pray. 

Every great accomplishment of God and man comes at the end of a painful process.  “And they said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah: ‘This day is a day of trouble and rebuke and blasphemy; for the children have come to birth, but there is no strength to bring them forth.” Isaiah 37:3. A building is a process.  So is a painting, an education, a marriage, and understanding God.  God is birthing something in you.  Something wants expression, to come into being, to emerge from the frustrations and confusion into a beautiful creation made in the image of God.  “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2. Something is happening right now!  

You are being “TRANSFORMED INTO HIS LIKENESS with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18.

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