“Shaping”

Does it sometimes seem as if almost everything around us is being shaped, growing and changing?   It is, and has been since the Godhead shaped the universe. (Gen 1:1) God taught Jeremiah how He could reshape a nation just as the potter does with the clay. (Jer 18:1-6)  In the physical world around us we see things, people and places being shaped daily.  Houses are gutted and upgraded, cars are redesigned yearly, tunnels are blasted through mountains, and people’s bodies are sculptured through diet, exercise and surgery.  It is often a process that people don’t necessarily recognize as it happens all around them.

In the spiritual world God the Father, through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, is shaping people.  He did it with Jonah (Jon 1:1-3) and Saul (Acts 26:14) even as they both resisted His wishes.  One ran away and had to be taught obedience from inside a great fish. (Jon 1:17)  The other kicked against the goads until blinded by a blazing light from heaven. (Acts 26:9-18)

Christians are also being shaped into the form of their Savior.  They stretch their hands out in servanthood on their daily symbolic cross. (Lk 9:23)  They are being transformed by the renewing of their minds (Rom 12:2) and transformed into Christ’s likeness. (2 Cor 3:18)  What does this look like?  They are “…growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power…” (Col 1:10-11)  Their “…faith is growing more and more…” (2 Th 1:3)  The “…whole body (church) …grows as God causes it to grow. (Col 2:19)

The Holy Spirit infuses their inner being with power (Eph 3:16) and they undergo shaping day by day into the new self (Rom 6:3-6) by obeying the teachings of the Holy Spirit in the inspired scriptures.  They progress from milk to meat (1 Cor 3:1-2) (Heb 5:12-14) and, “…may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Eph 3:19) They can “…become mature , attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”  (Eph 4:13) But they will only be fully shaped when their natural body is changed to their new spiritual body. (1 Cor 15:42-44 & 52)  They will then be in shape to be, “…caught up …in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with the Lord forever.”  (1 Th 4:17)

                                                                            –Jim Bailey