God doesn’t want us just to be better versions of ourselves, cleaned up and spit-shined. He wants us to become like Him. Dozens of verses say that we are to be imitators of Christ, imitators of God, baptized into Christ, to put on Christ, to become new creatures and be renewed by putting off our old self and putting on a new self. Being Christ like is a total transformation. C. S. Lewis, the famous Christian scholar and author said, “He came to this world and became a man in order to spread to other men the kind of life He has — by what I call ‘good infection.’ Every Christian is to become a little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else.”
In response, the devil has craftily created his own image of what looking like Christ is, and it’s boring and stuffy. Most of the world believes his lie, even Christians. How many times have you prayed, “Lord, I want to be like You,” and then stubbornly resisted doing what He would have done? We subconsciously believe that if we become Christ-like we’ll no longer have any fun, we’ll always be ridiculed, turn into social misfits, and settle for lonely, mediocre lives.
Of course being Christ-like means changing our character, morals and behavior. You can’t put on Christ and be self-centered and sin infested at the same time. Let’s look at the bigger picture. To be like Jesus, would also mean being the kind of people who rise above the storms and problems, who aren’t battered by them. It would mean having authority over spiritual forces that want to destroy us, and even over principalities in high places. It would mean having the vision to see beyond the pettiness of everyday life, and be at peace – just like Jesus as He slept through the storm. It would mean having the authority to create joy, light and peace in the worst situations, because we live by His Spirit. Whoever is Christ-like, becomes a lighthouse for everyone around them. They become solid ground that can be trusted and relied on, they are sought out for wisdom and strength when everyone else is shaken.
There’s nothing boring about being like our Lord. Sacrifices of our flesh have to be made daily, but they are so worth giving up for the new life that we’re given the privilege to put on. Our mindset should change from “I have to become Christ-like,” to, “I actually get to become Christ-like!”
Isaiah wrote about this during the time of King Hezekiah, and was referring to him and his officials. But through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Isaiah was also referring to the coming Messiah, to Jesus, and to Jesus’ “officials,” or disciples – us. This passage was written looking forward to the day that the King of kings and those who serve Him, will become a rock of safety for others, a river of refreshment and a place of protection. Have you ever viewed yourself this way? Have you ever believed that you could become an answer to people’s prayers, just because of the strength of faith growing inside of you? When we become like Jesus, we impact our world. We change personally, and we become a strength for others, and there’s nothing boring or stuffy about that.
Look, a king will promote fairness; officials will promote justice. Each of them will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from a rainstorm; like streams of water in a dry region and like the shade of a large cliff in a parched land. (Isaiah 32:2 NET)