IN HIS LIKENESS
As I age, I hear some people say, "I see your mom and dad in you more every day." This is a good thing for me because God blessed me with Godly parents that raised me in The Way I should go. However, that similarity in appearance, behavior, attitude, humor and faith is part history of my family, part environment I grew up in and part purposeful parenting/instruction I was given as a youth. As a Believer in Christ, after accepting Jesus' sacrifice for our redemption and restoration to Father God, I have to work at becoming more In His Likeness.
The fact that Christians can be individuals and yet seek to be consumed by God's likeness is a wonderful mystery. The world would say - "Be all you can be. Be your own person. Be the best you, you can be." Some would go as far as to picture reliance on someone for their identity as weak. This depends on who you rely upon for your identity.
For the Christ Follower this is certainly not a sign of weakness. This is a sign of maturity and a good decision in the development of your whole being - to be more like Christ every day.
All Christians are works in progress. I know of nobody who can claim to have arrived at the Perfect Likeness of Christ. Since this is the case, one of the important ingredients in the Believer's relationship with Jesus for our transformation into His likeness is Time With Him.
Any relationship that is going to be of worth is going to find more time and effort dedicated to it. I believe we prioritize and carry out consciously and unconsciously the relationships we deem important and want to continue. The Scripture calls this - tarrying.
There is an active tarrying and a more soaking tarrying. When we actively wait, we are consistently pursuing God about something and waiting for His response while living and serving. When we soak in God's Presence, we are spending a little to a lot more extra TIME with The Lord during our Personal, daily, one-on-one meetings with Him. I am sure we do both.
However, I know I love it when best friends and family desire to spend quality, intimate time with me! How much more do you think The Holy Spirit desires Communion with us? My pastor put it this way - "Christianity is not a Zap ministry, but a Sap ministry, where The Oil of His Holy Spirit saturates us and flows down slowly over every inch of our being." [Pritchard Paraphrase]
This is a perfect opportunity to receive a report card from The Lord on our development. This is a great time for us to allow The Holy Spirit to pin-point additional areas of improvement. This is a wonderful occasion to have God hold up a Holy Mirror and see how we are progressing or regressing - In His Likeness.