The struggle for Christ to be formed in us answers the age-old question of free will; if the Christian life were easy, then it wouldn’t be a struggle!
2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings [the glory in us is something that we must release by releasing everything that is concealing the glory of Christ].
That glory will look a little different in each of us because it is the Holy Spirit interacting with our spirit, thus creating something brand new, but the basic pattern of godliness is there. The principal verse for Christ being formed in us is Galatians 4:19,
19 My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,
The basic pattern of godliness can be found in many passages, several of which are:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 2 Peter 1:5-7
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-9
As we can see, there is plenty on which to work in our lives. Each day, even each moment, we must decide to trust Jesus. By knowing these passages, we know what holiness and godliness look like. As the Holy Spirit teaches us in these matters, we enjoy sweet fellowship with the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit. We feel His love for us, we receive His peace, and His joy overflows in our lives. It’s what makes us irresistible to the world! We are the fragrance of Christ; what can get any better than that? By the way, His aroma rubs off on us; the closer we are to Him and the longer we stay in His presence, the more we smell like Him. That aroma is what seeking people crave. Let’s share it!
Abba, it is our desire that Christ be formed in us. Thank You that we have people in our lives like Paul who cry out to You to do just that: Be formed in us. May they speak truth to us when we need correction, and may we listen no matter how difficult it is to control our flesh. Humility is always the best route. Hammer away, Lord. We need chiseling. Amen.