Stuck in the “to”
Angels cry holy, holy, holy at a new facet of God revealed to them. I am amazed at how much more I am learning about walking with God. The longer I live, the less I know. It becomes ground for God to plant more of Himself in me. Listening tonight to the Gateway Singles Pastors share vision for 2013 is no different. Have you ever had one of those moments of God-encounters where you knew that you knew that you knew you caught a new truth – a new facet of who God is and what He’s doing in your life? Well, I have had several recently, and tonight was no different. Let me first encourage you to keep asking, seeking, and knocking on the door. God will answer. He will reveal Himself to you, and you will grow to know Him more and in ways you could never have imagined. I want so share with you new insight God breathed in me while listening to the vision for GSA ministry.
I love when God’s Spirit breathes on the bible, and it comes to life speaking directly to whatever is happening in my heart. God is so good that way. Nothing gets by Him, and He really does care about the things that concern us. My prayer for practically all my life has been to know Him, to be drawn nearer to Him, to grow into deeper intimate knowledge of Him, and to love Him more. He’s always answering that prayer even when I am completely unaware of Him. He really does listen to the heart’s cry and prayer.
2012 was a rough year for me. It was one of those years you’d rather toss in the trash because it was just that bad. Though it was a horrendous, emotional, stress-filled, heart-breaking year it was still one of hope and restoration. Change was the order for the year. Change, change, and more change. It was constant. Some days it was obvious while other days it went unnoticed. But change was and is happening on a deeper level in me. It is change that I cannot do for myself. It is change that I can only be willing to subject to. It is change that only God can initiate, process, and complete. 2012 was a year of God doing in me what I most certainly could not do for myself.
I used to wonder how I could change myself. I was doing all the work and reaping none of the benefits. What I was doing just wasn’t working. Why? I was doing all the “right” things, reading all the “right” things, and even praying all the “right” things. What was missing? Surrender. I was trying to make “forever” changes that were simply inhumanly possible for me to do. It wasn’t until I learned what real surrender meant that I began realize and understand that there are things only God can do, and there are things He cannot do for me. I’ve learned that I limit God’s power in my life when I don’t surrender to the way He wants to do things. The hand of God could only do the change I sought because it was a change in my heart and spirit. This is made possible only because of the shed blood and resurrection of Jesus. What I had really been trying to do was save myself without any help. It just doesn’t work. If you think it does, then you’re working under the popular self-help deception that you can save yourself and do enough to make long-lasting change happen in your life.
My fault? I was trying to change my glory to His glory. I was trying to change my heart to look like His heart. I, I, I…failed…miserably. This is not a change I can do. It is a change I must surrender to, but how? Romans 12:2 tells me to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. Ephesians 4:20-24 and 5:1 tell me to put off the old man, to put on the new man, imitate God. Philippians 2:5-11 tells me to have the mind of Christ and humble myself. Colossians 1:9-18 tells me God is the one who qualifies us, and through Him we are held together. God is in charge of change that is deeply seated in us. Only He can cut to the root of any issue that has bound us. Only the blood of Christ is enough to cleanse, heal, and restore. My hands can do nothing to add to what God has already done. I am humbled by God’s grace and longsuffering. I was stuck in the “to” of trying to change my glory to His glory, but really this is only done by the work of His Holy Spirit.
I leave behind in 2012 my feeble attempts at internal change. I now leave the work of “forever” change to God. I choose to be willing to allow His Spirit to touch my spirit and to heal hurts I once deemed irreparable. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “but we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed in the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” God’s Spirit is the key – He does the work of transformation that makes us free and who we are meant to be in Christ. So tonight I consider how God is moving me to the next phase from barrenness to fruitfulness, from the old wine skin to the new wine skin, from death, to life, from vain living to purposeful living. God is God of the glory transition in my life. I lay down my human glory that I might have, experience, and carry His immutable glory. A little at a time…that’s how He’s been changing me and causing me to bear the image of His Son (1 Corinthians 15:46-40). How about you? Are you willing to let God do in you what you cannot do for yourself? If you are ready, you will find peace and hope for the journey ahead. You will find God making you more like Himself.
2 Corinthians 3-4