Who Am I? Devotions On Our Identity In Christ

Devotional

You Are Shaped from Within

Brothers, I entreat you, become as I am . . . . I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!

—Galatians 4:12, 19

When the apostle Paul says, “Become as I am,” he means, “Die like I have died and live by faith in the Son of God (Galatians 2:20) so that it is his life in you that shapes and forms who you are.”

Paul’s whole ministry was like a mother in labor pains — he travailed to give birth to people who had Christ taking shape in their lives. “My little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!” That’s the main point of this section of Galatians: “Become as I am: have Christ formed in you.”

The biblical quest for spiritual formation is a quest to be so shaped from within by the presence of the living Christ that we are no longer “conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewal of [our] mind” (Romans 12:1–2). To be so shaped by our union with him that “the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies” (2 Corinthians 4:10). To be so formed and dominated by Christ that we must say with Paul after a life of labor, “It was not I, but the grace of God that is with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10).

How does this happen? How is Christ formed in your life? The answer is: by faith. Faith is the assurance that what God will make of you, as Christ is formed in your life, is vastly to be preferred over what you can make of yourself. Faith is the confidence that the demonstration of Christ’s work in your life is more wonderful than all the praise you could get for yourself by being a self-made man or woman.

Faith is a happy resting in the all-sufficiency of what Christ did on the cross, what he is doing now in our heart, and what he promises to do for us forever.