Have you ever prayed that God would grow you in your walk with Him, and then suddenly you find yourself experiencing many troubles? I know I have! It was several years ago that I realized the answer to "make me more like You Lord" wasn't just going to fall on me from the sky. Answers to these types of requests don't just 'happen.' They often come in the form of trials, that will shape our character. Tests are God's way of growing us. This is how He answers our prayers to be filled, used, and made more like Him. ⠀ In order to be filled, we must be emptied. In order to be used for His Glory, we must be stripped of self and pride. In order to give ourselves away, we must be willing to let go of everything that grieves Him and keeps us away. In order for Him to take us deeper than our feet could ever wander, we are going to be tested by going through some unknown, and seemingly dangerous waters. In order for us to be serious about being the sacrifice, "If He provides the fire," we must really be willing to go into the refining fires.⠀ Godly character is built on perseverance, and this is what we ask for when we pray the prayers of growth and usefulness, for His kingdom. In the emptying, the stripping, the revelation of unknown sins, the deep waters, and the fires...we know that God is with us. He is teaching us how to seek Him when all else is taken away. When your plans fail, and your wounds are aggravated, and you are trembling, cling to Christ! Know that this work is not in vain. ⠀ The prayer to be more like Christ is a serious One. Christ lived only for His Father's glory, which led Him to sacrifice His life for us! It is beautiful to look at a life with so many of the features of Christ. We want to be like those kinds of people. We want to reflect God's light, bringing His aroma wherever we go. However, that person whose life you admire has gone through some hard stripping and many trials, that caused them to be the godly person they are today. It doesn't come without a price. But, God is so worthy! To be more like our Savior is the Christian's deepest desire. Lord, give us the grace to endure what will make us more like You.