Conformed To His Image (book review)

Oswald Chambers challenges my thinking about the Christian walk like few other authors can. His insights are always so profound, and yet at the same time awaken me to the realization that I am the one who makes the Christian walk something complex. In Conformed To His Image, I was yet again challenged to simply follow Jesus.

Chambers brilliantly turns secular psychology upside down. He takes what psychology wants to ascribe to our minds and emotions, and brings it back to a Scriptural basis that puts these things where they are supposed to be: in the soul.

The thought of being “conformed” rubs against the human desire to be free and in charge of our own destiny. Somehow being “conformed” feels like being controlled and giving up our unique personality. So Chambers contrasts the natural human tendencies for freedom and calling our own shots with what the Bible says about surrendering to God.

Chambers presents Jesus not as some superhuman, extraordinary Man. But He shows the life of Jesus to be what we should all be able to live out daily. Jesus was perfectly conformed and submitted to the will of His Father. And, he says, if we will submit as well, the Holy Spirit will conform us into the image of Jesus.

Beware: this book is not light reading. This is a heavy-duty, confrontational book that will challenge you to submit to the Holy Spirit as perhaps you never have before in your Christian walk. However, if you are ready to take the plunge into a much deeper, more intimate relationship with your Heavenly Father, Conformed To His Image is the resource for you. 


The Apostle Paul asked the Christians in Galatia an important question:

How is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? (Galatians 4:9)

The two words together in the Greek—weak and miserable—imply things that impoverish us and reduce us to lowly paupers and beggars. That’s not a pretty picture!

Look at the contrast between the princely life and the pauper’s life.

Those who follow Christ:

  • Are called sons of God (Galatians 4:6a)
  • Experience Abba Father’s favor (4:6b)
  • Are heirs to God’s Kingdom (4:7)

Those who don’t follow Christ:

  • Live as slaves (4:7)
  • Are separated from God’s favor (4:1-3)
  • Live as miserable beggars (4:9)

Why would anyone choose the miserable beggar’s life?

Here’s the principle: Everyone serves someone! I will either serve God and be called His son, or I will serve myself (my desires, my passions, my way of doing things) and be called a stranger to God.

Do I want to be in control, or do I want to let God be in control? When I try to control my own life, not only am I not in control, but I actually become a slave to my own passions. Ironic, isn’t it?

The choice is simple, but the choice must be made every day. I must choose to serve God in every moment of every day. It’s the only way to avoid the miserable life, and live the blessed life God has for me.

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