After we have been regenerated, the life of God works within us to make us different from those of the world. As we are thus sanctified, we are changed metabolically. This transformation can be likened to a caterpillar changing into a butterfly. The result of our being transformed is that there is a new form. It is to this that Romans 8:29 refers, when it says that we were “predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He should be the firstborn among many brothers.”
By transformation we are conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus. Not only is there the life within; outwardly we have the form of the Son. Notice that He is called the firstborn here, not the only begotten. Through death and resurrection He became the firstborn, with the human nature as well as the divine in Him. We shall become like this firstborn Son of God.
Conformation is the work God is doing today. He is not satisfied to have us only regenerated. He wants us to be conformed to the image of His Son. To accomplish this we need life. Teachings may improve us outwardly, but they do not transform us. The grafted branch is sanctified, transformed, and conformed by the life supply it receives from the tree to which it is grafted. The fruit that results from the grafting indicates maturity.
The life within us spreads from our inner part to our soul and eventually to our body. Glorification is when it is manifested in our body. Some day this life will permeate our whole being, and we shall be glorified (Rom. 8:30).
LETTING THIS LIFE MOVE FREELY WITHIN
If we want the divine life in us to accomplish God’s goal, we need to give it a free way. How can we cooperate?
Romans 10:12 tells us that “the same Lord of all is rich to all who call upon Him.” For the Lord’s life to increase in us, we need to call on the name of the Lord. If our environment allows, we can call loudly, “O Lord Jesus!” If we would be disturbing others, we can simply call His name softly.
Calling on the Lord corresponds to breathing. We are told that it is most healthful to exercise to the extent of having to breathe deeply. When we exercise to breathe deeply the name of the Lord, we are kept healthy.
Living according to Spirit
We must “not walk according to flesh, but according to spirit” (Rom. 8:4). We have a spirit within us. We are to walk according to that spirit, not according to our feelings, opinions, or teachings. Choosing to walk according to spirit will save us from quarreling with our spouse, from feeling unhappy toward our parents, from losing our temper, from gossiping, and from living in our vain imaginations.
Praying Every Moment
To walk according to spirit, you must pray continually. Do not focus your prayer on various items and on different people. Pray to contact the Lord and to breathe Him in. Pray without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17). All the time you are at home, keep praying. You must pray as spontaneously as you breathe. Christ is our life (Col. 3:4). To be detached from life means certain death. Your relationship with the Lord cannot afford any interruption.
It is most frustrating to lose our temper, yet humans are prone to do this. We hate the damage it does to our relationships, yet, try as we will, we keep failing. It is only when we touch the Lord, praying without ceasing, that we are kept from losing our temper. Constant prayer will keep us walking in spirit. As the element of Christ increases through prayer, we shall no longer even discuss those matters which lead to argument.
Gradually in our lives there will be nothing but Christ. Victory or defeat will be gone. Losing our temper or not losing our temper will not be an issue. Only Christ will matter. For this we must keep contacting the Lord and breathing Him in. Then we shall experience His constant supply.
In this way the life we have received in regeneration will increase. We shall be sanctified, transformed from within, and conformed to the image of the Son. When we are finally matured, His life will saturate our bodies and break forth in glorification.
(Life Messages, Vol. 2 (#42-75), Chapter 20, by Witness Lee)