– Alan Redpath
Sharing in His Sufferings
To be like Christ you must suffer like Christ, although not nearly to the same extent He did, but the Apostle Paul wrote that if you are a child of God, then you are “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (Rom 8:17), so “rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1st Pet 4:13). Paul deeply desired to know Christ so “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Col 3:10).
Praying for our Enemies
When Jesus was on the cross, He prayed to God, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34), and earlier Jesus had said “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt 5:44-45), so if you pray for your enemies, you’re becoming more like Christ.
Having His Way
I love the phrase found in a Christian song, “Have your own way Lord, have your own way,” and that’s a worthy goal because we are called to become more like Christ and be His disciple. This means we go where He went, say what He said, and do what He did (Matt 25:34-40). If you desire to be more Christ-like, you should desire for the Holy Spirit to have His way in your (and my) life.
Our Will to His Will
Jesus prayed three times to have the cup removed from Him, but three times it was “No,” so Jesus submitted to the will of the Father, and when we submit ourselves to the will of the Father, we are being more like Christ Who always sought to do the will of the Father, saying “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38). Can we say that? Can I say that?
If we desire to be more Christ like and be conformed into His image, we must share in Jesus’ sufferings; we must pray for our enemies; we must let God’s Spirit have His own way with us; and we must make the Father’s will our own will, and put His interests ahead of our own.