Christ-likeness Is Produced Through the Holy Spirit

“God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Philippians 2:13 NLT)

It is the Holy Spirit’s job to produce Christ-like character in you.

The Bible says, “As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT). This process of changing us to be more like Jesus is called sanctification.

You cannot reproduce the character of Jesus on your own strength. New Year’s resolutions, willpower, and best intentions are not enough. Only the Holy Spirit has the power to make the changes God wants to make in our lives. The Bible says, “God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:13).

Mention the “power of the Holy Spirit,” and many people think of miraculous demonstrations and intense emotions. But most of the time the Holy Spirit’s power is released in your life in quiet, unassuming ways that you aren’t even aware of or feel. He often nudges us with “a gentle whisper” (1 Kings 19:12 NIV).

Christ-likeness is not produced by imitation, but by inhabitation. We allow Christ to live through us. “This is the secret: Christ lives in you” (Colossians 1:27 NLT).

How does this happen in real life? Through the choices we make. We choose to do the right thing in situations and then trust God’s Spirit to give us his power, love, faith, and wisdom to do it. Since God’s Spirit lives inside of us, these things are always available for the asking.

Talk About It

  • How do you view the Holy Spirit?
  • How often do you rely on the Holy Spirit in you to help you make decisions?

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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