“But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”Matthew 5:48 NLT
“The true expression of Christian character is not in good-doing, but in God-likeness. If the Spirit of God has transformed you within, you will exhibit divine characteristics in your life, not just good human characteristics. God’s life in us expresses itself as God’s life, not as human life trying to be godly. The secret of a Christian’s life is that the supernatural becomes natural in him as a result of the grace of God, and the experience of this becomes evident in the practical, everyday details of life, not in times of intimate fellowship with God. And when we come in contact with things that create confusion and a flurry of activity, we find to our own amazement that we have the power to stay wonderfully poised even in the center of it all.”Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, September 20
For all of those that say they are good, they don’t need God, they do good things, they are good people, Oswald has an answer. “Good” is not the same as “God-likeness” and “good human characteristics” is not at all the same as the Spirit of God transforming from within so you exhibit “divine characteristics” in your life. There is a difference. One falls under human definition. The other falls under divine definition.
Oswald makes the point that when the “rubber meets the road”, or when “life happens” the work of the flesh to do good will falter. Impatience, frustration, anger will be manifested when it is the human trying to be good. When the Holy Spirit is working the Divine in us, we should meet such incidents with patience, long suffering, peace and love. In other words, as we grow in the Lord and He changes us to be more like Him, the Fruits of the Spirit should be manifested in all of our life, not just the easy parts. When life gets hard, or we have to deal with difficult situations or difficult people, the divine in us should reflect a loving God and the Fruit of the Spirit.
And when we fail, as we will, because we are not yet perfect, we humble ourselves, ask for forgiveness, and the Lord will forgive, strengthen and assure us that we are growing in Him. And how we handle this transformation with others will show them how God works in us and through us, even when we falter. Because He picks us up in Grace, and we walk once again in the Spirit, in the love of God. And the Fruit of the Spirit are once again manifested in our life.
“Beware of bartering the Word of God for a more suitable conception of your own.” – Oswald ChambersDisciples Indeed, 386 R