INTO HIS IMAGE
BY: DANIEL YORDY
TRANSFORMED into HIS IMAGE
My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you. Galatians 4:19
This is an incredible mystery we are looking at, being transformed into His image. This is how Paul saw the church, those believers whom God had put under his care, that God was doing a particular work in their lives as they walked through this age, through their time upon the earth. That work is this, Christ is being formed inside of us. We are being transformed into the image of Jesus; we are being conformed to the image of God’s dear Son.
The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints . . . this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily. Colossians 1:24-29
Christ in you, the hope of glory.
A fascinating thing about the monarch butterfly as it is being transformed from a caterpillar into a butterfly is that the chrysalis is a transparent covering. At first what you see inside is rather dim and murky, but as time goes on, the shape of that final beautiful butterfly becomes visible beneath the chrysalis. It is God’s intention in our lives from the very start that we be like Jesus.
In our caterpillar state, it is our primary responsibility to eat and eat and eat, to eat of Him, to sit at His feet, to walk together with Him through the places of our lives, to learn His ways, to learn what it means to walk with God in His faithfulness to us. Yet, through all those experiences, Christ is in us, Christ is being formed in us, and Christ is released through us.
At all times we believe God for a river of life flowing out of us, touching and healing others, bringing life and joy everywhere we go. At all times Christ is in us; Christ is being formed in us. We are being transformed into His image; we reveal Him to others. Others looking at us see Jesus, as we reach out to them, giving a cup of cold water to those who are thirsty. The river of life from God flows out of us giving life and healing to others everywhere we go.
But at the same time we understand this: we ain’t seen nothing yet. This mystery that God is working in us is a rich mystery, it is a glorious mystery: Christ in us, the hope of glory.
Now, a lot of dear Christians have in their imagination that when Jesus shows up in an outward way, so that He is visible to everyone, up in the sky, descending, everyone seeing Him, that that is a glorious moment. That is not what the Bible teaches. Christ will be seen visibly, but here’s what it says about that moment.
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Revelation 1:7
Our hope of glory is not seeing Christ in the sky descending down upon the earth. Those who see Jesus outwardly in an external form separate from themselves, it will only be because He was unable to do the work He so deeply desired to do inside of them. Christ outside of them is not their hope of glory. It will be a time of weeping and gnashing of teeth as those who had the opportunity to see Christ formed inside of them will realize that they did not take advantage of that opportunity. And they will have to wait until God gives them another chance.
Christ in us is our hope of glory, not Christ outside of us. Christ being formed in us is our hope of glory.
Our transformation follows a certain path.
First, in that transformation process, there must be a change in our minds, we must change the way we think. The changing of the way we think begins with what we see, with where our eyes are set. We look at God and what He says about us; we do not look at ourselves and see our own human frailty and weakness.
All those who look at themselves are completely convinced that we cannot really walk with God, that we will always be “sinners.” They believe that we can never love as Jesus loved, that we can never walk as Jesus walked. They have their eyes on themselves and their own human weakness; they do not have their eyes upon God and what He says.
We must see ourselves as God sees us. God sees us completed and finished, just like Jesus. We speak what God speaks. We hold fast the confession of our hope. As we confess the Lord Jesus, we are being transformed into His image.
We confess who we are. We dance on this side of the sea, before the waters open. God always leads us in triumph, as we exult boastfully in the victory of Christ in us even before we see it. We keep the confidence of our expectation high all the way through.
As we do that, our minds are changed. We see as God sees, and not as man sees, and we get excited, we really get excited, because this is what God is doing.
There are so many precious brethren who think that this thing lies on their shoulders, who have been taught they might not make it, that they dare not get excited about what God is doing, in an expectation of hope. Yet, in that line of thinking they have lost the very thing God says is what carries us through.
We are so excited. God is doing something in the earth so far beyond anything that anybody walking this planet imagines. God is forming Christ in us. He is conforming us to the image of His dear Son.
God has no intention of retreating from this world, dragging away a little bit that He can save out of the wreckage. No way on this earth!
God intends to win right here in this age on this earth. I don’t understand how any Christian could imagine He does not. My God! Jesus said, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The blood of Jesus was shed upon this earth; it will work its power upon this earth. The cross of Jesus Christ was planted firmly in this earth; it will complete its work in this earth, in this age, in our lives. My God, is there not power in the gospel to fulfill the covenant, to present every man perfect before Christ Jesus?
Christ in you, the hope of glory.
“A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.’” John 14:19-24
It is clear that Jesus is talking about a revelation of Himself that is different from what every eye sees in an external way. There is no more precious promise in the entire Bible than this, that both Father and Son make their home in us.
What this means is beyond our understanding. It is more glorious than we could ever imagine.
Jesus is in us to win. He is in us to win in this earth.
We also saw that a critical ingredient in this transformation process is that which comes to us from other believers in the body of Christ, their encouragement, their love, their fellowship, and equal with that is the ingredient that comes from our sharing that which God has given us to the other members of the body of Christ. We receive life from our brothers and sisters, and we give life to our brothers and sisters. We must have both the giving and the receiving in order for the transformation to take place in our lives.
I don’t want to bind you up in any way. God is free to do as He wills. He takes every individual person on his or her own path, and it is none of my business what He does with another. Yet I know that in my heart and in the hearts of many believers, there is a deep desire to walk together in a closer way, to see this truth worked in our lives.
We are also being purified as we pass through the difficult places. God purifies us, not difficulty. We don’t have to figure it out. It’s not like taking a mathematics test; if you’ve got it all figured out, you can get the answers right. We just let go and let God take us apart. We trust Him in the middle of difficulty. He does the work because He promised. He promised He is, and we trust Him.
God is conforming us into the image of Jesus.
But we know there is a dividing line; we must believe God is purifying us. We believe Jesus who said, “Be perfect just as your Father in heaven is perfect,” We believe Jesus who said, “Overcome just as I overcame and sit in My throne just as I sit in My Fathers’ throne.” Love just as God loves, forgive just as Jesus forgave, walk just as He walked. Receive one another just as He received us.
There is no less expectation in God or in the gospel than to be just like Jesus. Not in an external way in which we try to do what we think He did or would do. No, the power of the life of Jesus inside of us is beyond external performance.
We see the glory of Christ inside of us, and yet we are still encased in an outward human form. We are transformed, Christ is formed in us. Those that are around us see the awesome beauty of Christ in us in our present human state, in our mortal human flesh, before we can fully be all that He is, revealed to the world as God intends for us to reveal Christ in fullness.
We show others what Jesus is like, and they see Him in us in spite of our weakness, in spite of our dying physical body.
But we do not stay there, in this limited place. God has set a calling inside of me to defeat His enemies. I am sent to bring all things into subjection under His feet. That is my calling. I never see myself apart from His power. To see myself apart from His power is to treat God like dirt.
His power is in us, and we expect that His power transforms us into the image of Jesus Christ. He has given us this calling, this mission, to defeat His enemies, to bring everything that defies God into subjection under His feet. To bring down that voice, that echo that says “Did God really say that, did God really mean that? He didn’t mean it that way.” To bring it to an end. To close that mouth forever.
God has placed inside of us the calling to defeat death. Paul says in 1 Timothy that Jesus abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. But all things that Jesus did, He turns and shares with us. Though He won that mighty victory over death, He turns and gives us His victory. He wants us to share in His victory that we might share in His glory.
Even though Christ is formed in us and revealed through us, even though His glory is upon our face, even though the life of Jesus is revealed in our mortal flesh, we do not stay there. We press, just as that butterfly inside the chrysalis.
When you watch a butterfly break out of its chrysalis, it seems to be a fragile creature, so beautiful. There is a temptation to break the chrysalis to help the butterfly in its struggle. The chrysalis is strong; it seems the butterfly will hurt itself. But to break the chrysalis is to kill the butterfly. As that butterfly presses and presses against the restriction of its outer shell, the very life that’s inside of it flows bit by bit into every part of its body. By the time it has finally broken through that thing and cast it off forever, the life that’s deep inside of it fills every part. It has strength and beauty, and it can fly and live in the heavenlies.
But if you break that chrysalis so the butterfly does not have to struggle against it, it will come out of that shell and flop down upon the ground. It will find no strength in its wings and no ability to fly. It will starve to death upon the ground.
God has no intention of just making it happen for us automatically.
Jesus wants us to share in His victory. He wants us to know what it is to defeat His enemies, to win, to triumph over sin, to triumph over death, to see His power victorious in us. God is not going to make it happen separate from us; He will make it happen through us, in union with us.
So I do not stay in my present state. I’m not bound to it. I have the right to become a son of God.
I quote from The Jesus Secret, Day 95.
I do not stay there! I press, I press, I press against the limitations of the human sphere, the restrictions of this present age. I press; I do not accept limitation. My measure is the stature of all the fullness of Christ. I do not limit God. I push; I push; I push. I groan within myself, not that I should die, but that death should be swallowed up by life.
I am filled with all the fullness of God. Out of my belly flow rivers of living water. I overcome all things. I am changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. My lowly body is made into one like His glorious body by the power with which He is able to subdue all things to Himself, by the power that is working, working, working, in my present body right now!
God has every intention of winning a full and complete victory in our lives in this earth and in this age. There will be no shame in God. No one will be able to claim, “God, you can do it in heaven, but you sure can’t do it in the earth.”
There is no question that Christ will win in the earth, in those who believe in Him. The question is, am I in that company of believers in whom God wins? It is my full confidence and expectation that I am a part of that company that God will win in me. I will stand upon this earth as the image of Jesus Christ, as the revelation of His victory, and I will testify of Him that Jesus is Lord.
And she brought forth a manchild who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron, and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. Revelation 12:5
We are involved in the most incredible story that could ever be told. We have come to the end of the age, when God is bringing this thing to a finish.
All we can say, is “I am Your servant. Let it be to me according to Your word.”
Just as that little teenage girl, walking through the hill country of Israel, carried in her belly the very life of God. She knew that God had set His hand around her. She walked in a bubble of faith. She knew she was protected and covered. She knew that the life inside of her would come forth in fullness.
The manchild that God had given her the privilege of bearing, she carried through its time. When it came time to bring that child forth into the world, there was no one there except her husband, a carpenter, a man who was no midwife. And yet in that barn with the animals, she pressed against the pain. She was just a teenager. She didn’t know what was happening to her. But she trusted in God, and she pressed against the pain.
We read in Revelation 12 about the woman, the church, the bride of Christ, who also bears inside of her the very life of God. And she also presses against the pain. This is the same picture as that butterfly pressing against the chrysalis, the restriction, the limitation that would keep that life from being fully revealed.
God doesn’t spare us the limitations. He doesn’t spare us the pain. We must press against it. God has ordained that in the pressing against the pain, in the pressing against that restriction, His life becomes our life.
When we have a revelation of Christ inside of us and an understanding that God will win, we see that every word in the New Covenant is all speaking about God’s purpose. We know that God’s purpose is to have many sons just like Jesus. When we understand the purpose of God, we see that picture all the way through every part of the Bible. It’s all one word, it all speaks of the same thing.
We are involved in something so incredibly awesome. God gives us the opportunity, the understanding, the revelation of being a part of what He is doing in the earth. And here is the thing that enables us to be partakers of Christ.
It is the confidence and the expectation of our hope.
“. . . those who are with Him are called and chosen and faithful.”
With all confidence, I see myself nowhere else. I am with Him. I am called. I am chosen. I am faithful.
I am with Him in that moment. This is my confidence, my expectation. He is faithful in me.
INTO HIS IMAGE, Pt. 17, Transformed into His Image [Daniel Yordy] 2008 ~ BOOK 1