Thursday, July 25, 2013

Caution: God At Work

Hey Friend,

I am in awe of my son.  At the ripe old age of twenty, he knows it all.  There is no knowledge that my fifty two years of living can impart to this young man who has all life's answers.  If only I had been so wise at his age?!  But, wait...isn't this the same young man that not too many years ago explained to the police officers (in my presence) that the reason he and his friends were sitting on the roof of the school was because there was a ladder leading up there?  Enough said.

Oh to have all the answers!  I remember when I was young, thinking that there would be a point in time when I could finally say, "I've arrived."  I would have a perfect faith and life would no longer be a great mystery to me.  Not to burst anyone's bubble, but at fifty two, I have not arrived.  I have learned, though, that it is impossible for me to "arrive" this side of Heaven.  I will still be growing until the day that I die.  True growth involves trials, change and challenges.  God is ultimately most concerned about my character.  Sure, he wants me to experience pleasure and happiness (just look at the creation He's given us), but growth of character is His goal.

Who is in charge of building our character?  Philippians 1:6, 9-10 answers that question:

He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus...And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and be pure and blameless until the day of Christ...

In short, we are "under construction" and God is at work in us.  Whew, and I thought I had to do it all by myself.  Unlike me, God finishes what He starts.  A running joke in my family is the cross stitch Christmas stocking I started for Nicole when she was born.  She will soon be twenty five and the stocking sits unfinished somewhere in the attic.  If I am blessed with grandchildren, there may still be hope?! 

Jesus is the author and perfector of my faith. (Hebrews 12:2)  Jesus initiates my salvation, continues perfecting my faith and will eventually bring it to consummation.  It is a work that He does in me.  My job is to abide in Him and be willing to let Him work miraculously through me.  I don't know about you, but that gives me great comfort knowing that I don't have to muster all this faith up on my own.

Christian love is not just a warm and fuzzy sentiment; it is rooted in knowledge and understanding.

God is faithful to meet me where I am each day and then he renews my mind and grows me in depth and knowledge of His word (Bible).

And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude.] (Ephesians 4:23)

Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  (2 Corinthians 4:16-17)

Though I resist change, God is constantly growing and changing us.  He keeps us from getting burned out.  Every day is a new focus.  How boring it would be if we "arrived" and then just hit cruise control. 

If we will allow Him, God, through His son working in us, will take us to unfathomable heights and depths.  Caution: it may involve change, challenge and even suffering at times, but God promises that our eternal glory in Heaven will far outweigh our suffering here on earth.

So if you haven't "arrived" yet, if you are still growing and learning; take heart, God loves you and has you right where He wants you!