by Rick Warren — September 13, 2022
From Live Your Calling: What on Earth Am I Here For?
“From the very beginning God decided that those who came to him—and all along he knew who would—should become like his Son."
Romans 8:29 (TLB)
Jesus is the only perfect human being who ever lived. He was God in human form and lived a perfect life. Jesus showed us exactly what it means to be fully human.
That’s why God wants you to learn to think like Jesus, act like Jesus, and value what Jesus does. God wants you to grow up and become more like Jesus.
You’ve probably spent a lot of time trying to determine what you want to do in life. But God is far more interested in who you are than what you do. You’re not taking your career to heaven. You are taking your character.
The Bible says, “From the very beginning God decided that those who came to him—and all along he knew who would—should become like his Son” (Romans 8:29 TLB).
God’s plan has always been for you to become like Jesus. It was God’s plan from the very beginning, even before Adam sinned.
The fruits of the Spirit are the perfect picture of who Jesus is and how he acts: “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT).
So how does God produce this kind of fruit in your life? He puts you in situations that are opposite of the fruit he’s growing in you. It’s easy to love people who are lovely; God will teach you love by putting you around unlovely people, so you have to learn love. During periods of grief, you’ll learn joy. You’ll learn patience when it’s tested.
God wants to build character in your life. You might want the process to be quick and easy, like a vending machine. A vending machine gives you what you want immediately, but much of what it offers is just junk that will harm you in the long run. How God works is the opposite of a vending machine. It’s slow and sometimes difficult, but over time it will build strong character in you.
Remember that growing up spiritually is a lifelong journey. Be patient.
The Bible says, “God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure he will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again” (Philippians 1:6 NCV).
You can count on that promise!