Thursday, July 13, 2017

Using 4Ls, Part 24 – Like God

In this penultimate post for this series, I come to the heart of this entire process. Everything I have written over the past six months related to the 4L Model of Discipleship has one goal in mind – to be more like God. My Vision states that in a practical way – focusing on what He wants from me. My Mission relates goals which I believe, based upon Scripture, move me towards that end. My Strategy are the means to reach those goals, and the Steps (the 4Ls) are the individual components which execute the pieces of my Strategy. Again, all of this is to make me more like God.

For the sake of clarity, let me begin by stating that although I am to become more like God, I have no misconceptions that I am to become (a) god. The intent of my statement is to capture what has been lost. Humans were made in the image of God (Genesis 1.26-27) and certainly still reflect characteristics of God. However, the perfect nature of God was lost for humanity in Eden. It was offered anew through the second Adam through Jesus’ work on the cross and resurrection from the tomb. But the offering of salvation must be received by us. When we receive the gift of God’s grace, we are in a moment made righteous through (and in) Christ, but we are not yet fully and completely perfect on this side of eternity (Philippians 1.6). It is through God’s continued offering of grace that we become more like Him as we wait for Jesus to return (Titus 2.11-13).

As I mentioned last week, becoming more like God has two important aspects. Only God knows what He is truly like and therefore He must guide our “becoming.” That is, as imperfect beings, we cannot become perfect on our own because we do not truly know what it means to be a perfect Being. Thus, God must lead us in our becoming more like Him. This is the crux of the imitation in Ephesians 5.1 where our imitating Him allows God to mold us as He wishes.

On the other hand, we must do our part in becoming like Him. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul uses the idea of walking several times. I claim Ephesians 4.1 as my reminder to walk as I have been called by God to walk. Claiming the reminder does not mean that I walk successfully all the time. Far from it. But the idea of walking means that when I trip and fall, I am to resume walking.

Thus, as I walk, and God molds, I begin to become more of the man He wants me to be – that is, more like God. The challenge, as maturing Christians will attest, the more time spent becoming like God, the less I feel that progress is being made in that direction. Again, I fully realize that I will not fully achieve my Vision in this life, but even as I know I am growing as a follower of Christ, I find myself succumbing in areas that I should have overcome. I believe that as I grow closer to God my sin is being further exposed, and ways that I hid my sin (from myself, not from God) is becoming more evident to me. If this is true then as more sin is exposed, it may bring discomfort (i.e. sorrow/grieving) in one sense, but joy in another as I realize God is continue to mold me to become more like Him - the very goal I seek, whether I realize progress is being made or not.

This series is now almost complete - even as I have much to learn and do towards becoming the man God desires. Next week, I will conclude this series before making an announcement about what God is leading me to do now. Then, in August, I will return to the traditional Bread Crumb posts – with personal reflections of on my weekly messages.

Prior Posts:
4L – Matthew 4.19 –
4L – Matthew 28.19 –
4L – Spiral –
4L – Vision –
4L – Mission –
4L – Strategy –
4L – Steps –
4L – Learn –
4L – Live –
4L – Love –
4L – Lead –
4L – BackUptheSpiral –
4L – HelpMeLEARN (Love) –
4L – HelpMeLEARN (Exercise) –
4L – HelpMeLEARN (Action) –
4L – HelpMeLEARN (Read) –
4L – HelpMeLEARN (Nurture) –
4L – HelpMeLEARN (Summary) –
4L – HelpFulfillMission –
4L – HelpFulfillMission (Item 1) –
4L – HelpFulfillMission (Item 2) –
4L – HelpFulfillMission (Item 3) –
4L – HelpFulfillMission (Item 4) –
4L – ParentheticalPost –
4L – Becoming (Vision) –

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