Christian blogs, magazines and even friends often offer advice on ways to improve ourselves so we can become “better” Christians. They list activities or actions that, if followed, could lead us closer to God. Although the advice comes from the heart, and is meant for good, it often leaves out a key component of the change, the needed influence of the Holy Spirit.
We don’t become Christians unless God chooses us, and we don’t change unless the Holy Spirit transform us. It is not about will power but God’s power.
Although God makes the choice as to whose eyes and hearts He will open, He doesn’t empower followers unless they allow it. Scripture tells us that we have choices including whether we want to follow Jesus or not. Being a Christ follower requires a mindset that points to God. Paul writes in his letter to the Romans that we must be transformed by the renewing of our mind (see Romans 12:2). We must intentionally choose to become followers so that we can honour and glorify God. We must purposefully seek to love God with all our mind, heart, soul and strength and we can’t do that without the Holy Spirit’s help.
There is an expression that states, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. God does not want us to imitate Jesus or flatter Him; as flattery can also suggest an insincere act or word used to impress the recipient. God wants our action to be sincere and pure. God wants us to be as Jesus is. When the Holy Spirit gets involved, our actions and behaviours should become Christ like. They then should become immediate responses to the Holy Sprit’s activity in our lives, not responses motivated by a desire to please God or get something from Him.
Don’t ignore the advice and guidance from sources that want you to be Christ like. Educate yourself as to what scripture describes as God’s attributes. Choose to become aware of the Holy Spirits nudging by listening and following His guidance. Seek confirmation from Christian friends or your pastor about what you are hearing but deliberately want more. However always remember that your desire to be Christ like should be for no reason other than to worship God.
It is not how we seek but why.