Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Tips For Triumphant Living--Getting there from here.

If you’re like me you want everything today, or better yet, yesterday. Patience is not an area of strength for me. I want it and I want it now! There’s a commercial on television with a number of people saying this and every time I hear it I cringe. Perhaps because it reminds me of me.

Sanctification is something that takes time—a lifetime. It can be painful and it requires patience.

The moment we trust in Christ we are justified or made right. Christ’s sacrifice does this for us; it is not a process, but happens in a moment of belief. What follows justification is what’s tough, the growing in holiness, becoming more like Christ. It’s not easy. Sometimes I feel like a piece of fruit in an apple press. Ouch!

We are like a chunk of coal with hope of becoming a diamond.

2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into his glorious image."

So those of us who have placed our faith in Christ and who can now see the truth shall be transformed. What really astounds me is that it goes on to say that we will be transformed into HIS likeness. If that is God’s promise, then the process of sanctification is well worth the pain. And so I say, “Thank you Lord.”

This transformation comes with another promise, that it will be completed. Philippians 1:6 says, "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ."

God will not drop the ball. He promises to finish what he began.

When we welcome the process, we set aside self and with our will out of the way God’s will can be fulfilled. When I was a young Christian I knew I needed to give myself completely to God. This truth tugged at my heart. I knew it needed to happen. But I was afraid. What if He wanted something from me that was too difficult?

One day I realized that no matter what God wanted it was the best. I was suddenly released from the fear. What could be better than the best? And so finally I said, “Okay God, whatever you want that’s what I want.”

My life changed. There were no trumpets announcing the transformation, but my walk became steadier, more fulfilling and I experienced the joy of being used more completely by God.

When we hand ourselves over to Him, we can expect good stuff, the very best. So, let the refining begin.

Grace and peace to you from God.


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