Be You Perfect
Be you perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect (Matt 5:48).
This is an instruction all Christians are striving to achieve. How can we even get close to the perfection that is God? We must aim for the goal – how do we do it? How do we change and become more like Christ? Is it something we sincerely want to do but don’t feel we are really making much progress?
We have to find what He wants us to do and how to do it.
Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
How are we transformed?
Let’s look at Galatians 5:22-25. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
We all want more of these fruits, more love, more gratitude, more faith etc. Have we crucified the lusts of the flesh so that they no longer dominate our spiritual relationship with God, with brethren, and with all others with whom we come in contact? If we have crucified the old man, our carnal self, at baptism and we want to change the way we live our lives, then those old behaviours have to be replaced.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 is a key scripture in recognising what the problem is and how we overcome it, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
The things that influence us, that drive our behaviours, our reactions, are very strong. They are part of our makeup but some things need to be cast out, overcome and replaced with Godly behaviours and reactions. It is like breaking down a castle. We need the right weapons! We need the armour of God – Ephesians 6:10-18 but that’s a topic for another study.
Recognise that the works of the flesh are part of us. (Galatians 5:19-21) We all have inbred prejudices, desires, opinions and character flaws. Our weaknesses can so often lead to the sin that does so easily beset us. (Hebrews 12:1) We have to cut the reaction off at the pass! So often something happens and our instinctive reaction is often wrong. Usually it is about self – what does this mean for me? It may be envy, it may be anger, it may be purely selfish, but unless we see it for what it is the next step is to say something, then perhaps we will do something and next thing we’re in the middle of a problem which can lead to sin. Sound familiar?
Bring every thought into captivity, think about it and if it reflects the works of the flesh, reject it. As we learn, through Christ’s indwelling to recognise a wrong reaction, we can have time to say, “No I don’t want that to be my reaction” or “No, I no longer think that way” and we can change the reaction and deal with it. In time it will become the right Godly reaction. We gain control of our thoughts and reactions and we can see God bringing about change in our whole heart and mind.
It takes time! We fail often! But we know we are trying and God is helping. We are honestly and sincerely yielding to Him and wanting to get closer to the ideal of being as perfect as He is.
To seal this change, and by willingly and gladly allowing God to help us and guide us, we can see how it is happening.
Proverbs 16:1, 3 (KJV), “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD… …Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.”
Prepare your heart – in other words ask God to help you to break down the strongholds of your heart and mind and He will! He will show us how to respond without sin. Commit to Him, fully yield your whole heart and life to Him and He will direct you and greatly bless you. You will react correctly and it is no longer human nature but Christ’s nature.
Proverbs 16:21-23 (KJV), “The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning. Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly. The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.”
Isaiah 55:8-9 (KJV), “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
As always, the key component is our active and honest yieldedness to Him and what HE wants us to be. His ways, His thoughts are always to be our guide.