Shaped and Molded by God

Not long ago, I had a discussion with Mr. Johnson, a veteran believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s been on this Christian journey a long time, and he is very impressed with the understanding of scripture and the revelation that God is pouring out in our day. Coming from a very devoutly religious family, he remembers growing up and seeing people struggle because they thought they had to. They were taught that God wanted them to suffer because suffering would make them humble. Mr. Johnson has become an ardent student of God’s Word, and he is so joyous to know the truth for himself and to have confidence in it. He says the greatest day in his life was the day he understood the truth in 1John 1:5, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.

In Hosea 4:6, God tells us that His people are destroyed because they lack knowledge, and they indeed reject knowledge about God. Heavenly Father has given us His Word because He doesn’t want us to reject knowledge about Him. He wants everyone to know Him. He wants us to become intimately acquainted with His nature, because His nature is our nature.

Because of what God accomplished through the sacrifice and resurrection of His precious and powerful Son, Jesus Christ, you and I can become born-again. Our spirits are regenerated because of the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for our sins. When we believe in our hearts that Christ is Lord and that God resurrected him from the dead, we become new creations in Christ! We are accepting the love of God into our hearts through Jesus Christ, and our Father’s love transforms us. This born-again experience is the beginning of our spiritual journeys in the Lord, and from this point on, we should be learning about God and growing in Christ more each day.

God accepts us as we are, but He doesn’t want us to remain in the same shape we were in when we came to Him. He commands us in Romans 12:2 to allow Him to transform us by our commitment and effort to change the way we think. We have been programmed by the world, and God calls us to leave that programming behind so that we can walk in the truth.

Jesus Christ said in John 8:32(NLT), “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” To be free is to live life through God’s love. Anything outside the boundaries of God’s love and light is going to weigh us down and prevent us from walking in liberty. Many of us have been taught that God places sickness, disease, and horrible consequences on us in order to punish us and set us straight. God way of teaching us is through love. He tells us in 1Corinthians 13:13(NLT), “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatestof these is love.” God’s love is the greatest power that exist, and His love is what shapes and molds us into the men and women He desires us to be.

We must settle ourselves upon the fact that we must change, and this change into the image of Christ is continual until he returns. There are just some things that we currently believe and there’s a certain way that we have trained ourselves to think that is keeping us from embracing all that God has for us. We must flee these restraints, because when we know the truth of God’s love, our eyes are opened, and we are transformed by God’s truth the way Mr. Johnson has been. We go from believing the wrong information to believing rightly and believing rightly builds and increases our faith in God.

Jesus Christ is the living Word of God. He is God’s Word in the flesh, and he is our foundation. 1Corinthians 3:11(NLT) tells us, “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.” The more we know about God through Jesus Christ, the stronger we become spiritually, and this is God’s Will for our lives. His truth grows deeper in us as we put it on in our minds and hearts. Layer upon layer is built as our understanding and comprehension increases.

We begin with the basics, and the basics are believing in God’s love. John 3:16(NLT) tells us, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” This verse cements the love that God has for everyone, for those that believe in Him and those that do not. John 3:16 begins the foundation that allows us to build greater revelation so that we can walk in the power and authority of Christ. But if we don’t fully believe in the goodness and depth of God’s love, we cannot build on a solid foundation of truth.

Sickness, disease, death, and sin are from satan’s kingdom of darkness; they do not belong to God. Many people believe the exact opposite. 1John 4:18(NLT) tells us, “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” God’s perfect love eradicates all fear, but many believe that God wants us to live in fear and to be afraid that He is going to punish us at random. That’s the exact opposite of what He teaches in 1John 4:18. The reality is that we can’t afford to have wrong believing when it comes to the goodness of God, because this wrong believing will keep us from getting as close to Heavenly Father as we all should be.

To build a solid foundation of right believing and have our lives built on the truth of Jesus Christ, there are some things we need to get straight in our minds. There can be no ambivalence in our thinking about God’s nature. He wants us to be transformed by His love and this comes from knowing and trusting who He is.

Once we became born again, our human spirits were regenerated and became alive to God, but our souls were not made brand new. This is up to each of us to do. God has commanded us to change the way we think, speak, act, and behave so all that we do lines up with the example of Christ. He tells us in Philippians 2:12-13 (NKJV), “12 Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” The work of our souls is our responsibility and privilege. God has given us free-will. We make our own choices and decide how we are going to think, speak, act, and feel. Heavenly Father commands us to work out our soul’s salvation. This means we must always examine ourselves to ensure that we are in the right way of believing and following the example of Christ the way we should.

Philippians 1:6(NLT) declares, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” As we hold ourselves up to the microscope of God’s Word, and submit totally to Him, He will shape and mold us through His love. This is where our prayers and efforts must be firmly planted. We must invite the Lord to show us where we are in error. We must be responsive to the work of the Spirit by being humble, teachable, and obedient to God’s Word as we are shaped and molded by the love of Christ. ■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

“Shaped and Molded by God”, written for Copyright© 2023. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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