My friend, may I ask you a question? Does God tell us to “just be like him!” in regard to being holy like Jesus Christ? He does, doesn’t he? Do you find that a bit of a larger than life task? You’re not alone. Nevertheless, does God give a tool to help us get there?
My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
“Be like me!” How many times have you heard that in life? Someone is holding out an emotion or reaction to you that’s the opposite of how you are feeling. Be like them? How can we just become like someone else when we’re not them and never will be? Unless there is some sort of teaching moment here, being like someone else emotionally is a tall order. I worked with a guy years ago who had a great way of dealing with stress on the job. I, on the other hand, was the type of guy that at times let stress get to me so that not only myself but my coworkers were affected. Charlie, my friend, could see that I wasn’t coping well. He simply asked, “Do you want to become stress-free at work? Here’s how I do it, and I want go give this to you.” He had a small rubber ball that he squeezed when the job got to him. He gave me his and got another one to replace it. Now there were two on staff using the same method and the stress-free zone expanded accordingly. I wasn’t like him, but I practiced what he practiced with the tools he gave me.
Charlie changed my life in that sense, but he didn’t require me to learn something without the tools which made that learning possible. His way of dealing with stress wasn’t assumed by me, it was formed in me using the tool he gave me. God never asks us to change unless he similarly gives us the tools.
Here’s a thought from Oswald Chambers. “The New Testament teaching about regeneration is that when a man is struck by a sense of need, God will put the Holy Spirit into his spirit, and his personal spirit will be energized by the Spirit of the Son of God — “until Christ be formed in you.” The moral miracle of Redemption is that God can put into me a new disposition whereby I can live a totally new life. When I reach the frontier of need and know my limitations, Jesus says — “Blessed are you.” But I have to get there. God cannot put into me, a responsible moral being, the disposition that was in Jesus Christ unless I am conscious I need it.” (My Utmost for His Highest, October 6)
Galatians 1:15-16 states: “But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being.” God can never be accused of telling us to “just be like him!” Although he calls us to be holy, he doesn’t do so without providing us the tool by which we can become holy–his Holy Spirit. You and I are redeemed in the sense that Charlie redeemed me, bought me back from my stress, with the gift of that rubber ball. “Be like me?” Jesus can legitimately ask that question only because he holds out the tool to make it so–his Holy Spirit. It has a nice feel, doesn’t it?
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us a tool, your Holy Spirit, to fill us and make us holy in your sight. Forgive us Father when we become distressed by the need to change our lives for the spiritual good without relying on your Holy Spirit to remove all barriers and give us the only opportunity we have to be holy like Christ. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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