Many believers have made it their primary goal to be well respected citizens of their communities. Good character enables us to be solid contributors to society, however, what is recognised as a Christian lifestyle, can be accomplished by people who do not know God. Every believer should be highly respected and so much more, but often it’s the so much more part that is lacking.
Moses said in Exodus 33:15 if your presence does not go with us do not lead us up from this place, for how will it be known that I have found favour in your sight, I and your people? Is it not by your going with us so that we I and your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth
Moses knew that reputation and character alone would not clearly distinguish Israel from other people on the earth – The power and the presence of God was essential for identifying Israel as a set apart people before God. So his prayer was Lord let your presence go with us – Paul requested in Colossians 4 prayer so that God will open up to us a door for the word.
In Colossians 3 Paul gives guidelines on how to conduct our lives which he proceeds with this statement Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things – We often insist that Character is shaped by obedience to God, which to some degree is true and it can often be seen as a qualification for ministering in the power of God, which can leave many people feeling not worthy of functioning.
However I want to say that Christ like character can never be fully developed without understanding and serving under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the power we need for personal transformation. Paul said since then you are raised with Christ – Our Citizenship is in heaven, from which we eagerly await our saviour Phil 3:2 – Paul spoke not of going to heaven one day but living as citizens of heaven today – So you see. The conduct issues that Paul spoke of in the previous chapter where never meant to be achieved by sweat and toil on earth, but by living as citizens of heaven through the power of the Holy Spirit
God is not looking for outward change but inward transformation, this can only occur by the power of the Holy Spirit through relationship with Jesus Christ, A disciplined lifestyle alone will only lead to outward change.