The path to the character of Christ is the path of the operation of the cross in us. There is no other way for the Lord to form the marks of Christ’s character within us, except by way of the cross. The cross implies the Lord’s breaking of the human will and strength. God prepares circumstances and situations that deal with the human will so that it may be broken. It is through the law of the Cross (Matthew 16:24) that our Christian character is formed.
This law operates within us by molding and teaching us the life of the spirit. There is no way to control the process of the Lord’s treatment in the formation of Christian character. How good it is to work with and relate to people who have been broken and made sweet, whose hearts God has thoroughly dealt with. The cross is that which operates in us the beauty of the Lord. The Cross is God’s instrument that He uses to mold us into the likeness of Christ. The Cross is what enables us and gives us the character that is able to support the power of God. Before Jesus arose, He descended (Ephesians 4:8, 9). This is the principle of God.
Before we can experience power and glory, the Cross of Christ must deal with our heart. The higher that God takes us, the more He will need to deal with our character. There is a principle here: the pressures and temptations increase in proportion to our growth in God. Therefore, a person needs a greater foundation of character in the war against the spiritual world and sin. The pressure was so great when He was in the garden that Jesus sweat great drops of blood. (Hebrews 12:4).
The principle of the cross forms the character of a Christian worker. We attain emotional and spiritual maturity through the treatment of the Cross of Christ. Men of God must be men who overcome the attacks of the enemy in their minds and emotions, something that is only possible through brokenness. They cannot be fragile people who fold under the evil pressure of the flesh. The foundation of a house is the most vital and important part of the construction. Pressure does not only come with the attacks of the enemy, but also as a consequence of practicing the principles involved in seeking God. Sometimes the more we seek the Lord, the more the heavens seem to close and become as bronze.
There is a principle that we must learn: those who seek the Lord even with prayer and fasting, feel much resistance and apparently nothing happens, or sometimes the pressures and the problems increase. This principle involves the fact that in the heavenly realm, God is birthing something in the Spirit and therefore we are paying a price. Before a visitation of the Lord and revival, the men God uses always suffer, cry and groan until the hand of the Lord is free to operate. Therefore, as workers of God, we need to know and understand these ways and be prepared to face them.