“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” Rom. 8:29 (ESV)
The German sculptor Johann Heinrich von Dannecker dreamed of creating a sculpture of Jesus that would truly portray who He was to the world. After 8 years of work, he asked a young girl to preview the sculpture without knowing the subject was Jesus. When she responded with tears recognizing her Lord, Dannecker knew he had accomplished his dream. When asked how he obtained his inspiration, Dannecker responded that he felt that Christ had joined him in his studio through those years and he simply transferred the sense of presence of the Lord into the stone.
Von Dannecker worked in stone, but the Lord is working in us to mold us into His image.
If you are a follower of Jesus who has given your life to Him, you are indwelled by the Holy Spirit who is actively working to conform you to the image of Christ.
The term being used by many theologians today to describe the process of being conformed to the image of Christ is spiritual formation. While the process of spiritual formation is ultimately up to the Holy Spirit, there are certain “things” that we as believers can do to help move the process along.
One of the first things we can do is to learn about the person we want to be conformed to. We are so fortunate that He has chosen to reveal Himself in the Scriptures. Someone who desires to be conformed to the image of Christ should spend time studying Christ in both the Old and New Testament. It should be a joy to learn more of the One you desire to be conformed to. If this seems a burden, you should ask yourself why. Frustration might arise because of lack of sufficient time to read and study Scripture, but it shouldn’t come at the thought of reading Scripture. Remember, by reading and studying Scripture, you may not only increase your knowledge about Jesus, but you may also be able to experience Him.
Prayer: Lord, excite me to spend more time studying Scripture to learn more about You. Take what I learn and use it to make me more like Christ.