Ready Set Go!

Hebrews 12:1  Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (who have borne testimony to the Truth), let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us.

2 Looking away (from all that will distract) to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith (giving the first incentive for our belief) and is also it’s finisher (bringing it to maturity and perfection). He, for the joy (of obtaining the prize) that was set before him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.                                                                                                          Amplified Bible

How do we change from glory to glory? How do we go from being the petulant willful brats we once were to the mature Christ filled human God expects?

A lil’ bit at a time, with God’s correction and through studying the scripture.

I am reading Joyce Meyer’s book on negative thinking called Power Thoughts. The reasons why I am reading it could fill an entire internet in and of themselves. Reading the Word of God, and applying it are two different actions. It’s helpful to have a guide navigating God’s expectations into motion; Joyce Meyer is great at that.

On page 105 Ms. Meyer writes: “God sees the end of things from beginning, and He sees you complete in Him. He sees you, through Jesus Christ, as a new and completely righteous.”

When I read this part of the sentence: “God sees the end of things from beginning,” I had the image of a taut finish line banner and the presence of our great God waiting there for us.

He knows the end of our story; and he is cheering us on all the way. As we diligently try to understand the Lord and his teaching, we grow closer to him. We do it to conform to the image he has placed before us in Christ Jesus. But we aren’t changed miraculously overnight; we have to choose to change, everyday.

When we choose change we slowly leave behind insincere ideals, and faulty behaviors. We cathartically move in a direction of God’s values, and we should enjoy the journey. We should revel in the changes God employs in our lives. We should say, ‘Gee God, look how and where I used to be, and how much you have taught me. Thank you for moving me and helping me to grow. What new lessons do you have for me?”

Here is the same Bible passage above from Hebrews, but it’s the King James translation:

2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We shouldn’t expect to know everything, and be perfect all at once.  God is the “author and finisher of our faith”. Although God views us that way because of the blood of Jesus upon us, from His perspective at the finish line, we’ve already won the race.

If God sees us as his children perhaps he is pleased to witness our growth as we are watching our own children grow. When you see your baby saying “Ma-Ma” you are thrilled, but a part of you looks forward to hearing the next new word. One of my girls used to call the glove box in the car, “glove department” instead of “compartment”, and that was adorable (and secretly I still call it that), but I knew I had to  teach her the proper way to say it so that she could grow up. Maybe God sees us the same way. Prodding, and pointing us to His truth, so we can stay on course and fill the destiny he has for us. Maybe He is joyous at the way we accept his correction, and learn and grow in him.

What would we be like if we were suddenly and completely perfected? Like the old joke of how we came to have our belly buttons, on God’s assembly line, getting poked, “Your done.  Your done. Your done”.  We’d be expert Christians, shiny and scripture filled, all knowing, perfect….we’d be like little gods.

What would we need God for anymore? Where would our living relationship be?

We need to embrace our growth in the Lord, change our behaviors by listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. We need to fall down and get up, say stupid stuff – embarrass ourselves, accept correction and apologize.  That’s how we grow and then we can tell others how God has performed a miracle in our lives.  If we weren’t changed from lil’ glory to lil’ glory we couldn’t share the gospel with anyone else.

So ask God to help you grow and change as we journey on this marathon. Seek out his instruction in the scripture, so that you can cross the finish line where he waits for you with open loving arms.                     

Father God,

I am not where I was when you found me and I am so grateful to you for helping me get stronger in you every day. I thank you for the lessons I will learn today. I know no matter what it will be you will be at my side, cheering me on, urging me forward toward your Glory.

Help me to teach others about your love.  I pray my growth in faith can further your kingdom and touch another life.

Amen!

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