If you’ve been a follower of Jesus for any length of time, you know the importance of growing in your faith. So often, we get the notion in our minds that we have to work at it – and while there is some truth to that, we need to understand that it’s not our job.
I’m fond of the definition of spiritual formation given by the late Robert Mulholland, who taught New Testament at a seminary in the United States. His definition of spiritual formation is that it is a process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others.
When we come to faith in Jesus, it is not the end of a journey, but the beginning. When we begin our relationship with God, we submit ourselves to the process of being conformed – it’s not our job, but that of God the Holy Spirit living within us.
And we are being conformed to the image of Christ – as the apostle Paul tells the church in Corinth, “the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3.18, NLT). That’s our goal – not to be “better people” or “more moral”, but to be more like Jesus.
Why? For the sake of others. We don’t grow in faith for our own sakes, but so that the world God made and the people God loves may benefit, and glimpse more of his goodness through us.
The work is God’s, but we are invited to be willing instruments. Position yourself for growth this year.