Wednesday, January 27, 2010

That He May Work In Us

It seems the Cloud is on the move again. Not to a new geographical location, but in a spiritual sense, for certain. It's like God is saying, "Don't get too comfortable. Remember, you're a pilgrim, just passing through this life" (Psalm 84:5). There are some big changes happening at Walnut Hill--and they're great ones! But as the new girl just getting settled, change is rocking my world a little.

Without getting too introspective, I just want to share a thought. I'm learning, in the midst of all this change and upheaval, and through some other circumstances as well, that God is far more interested in doing a work in me than He is in my doing a work for Him.

When I type it out, maybe it sounds almost haughty, but bear with me for a second here. If we really believe that God wants to use us as His instruments...If, as Eugene Petersen puts it in His translation of 2 Corinthians 4:7-8, He wants to use "the unadorned clay pots of our very ordinary lives," then the work has to start in us. We must be emptied before we can be "filled to the measure with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:19). I think I can get so sidetracked by ministering to others, by trying to accomplish something weighty for the Kingdom that I miss the point...

With this Father God who offers His Son to redeem and His Spirit to regenerate, it's the heart that matters most.

My young adult girls' Bible study had the most precious time of confession last Thursday. The Lord had been impressing the importance of confessing sin on my heart since Advent, and as we girls talked two weeks in a row about the things we let distract us from pursuing God, I was convicted that corporate confession was essential. Let me tell you, it was beautiful! There's something so humbling and yet so uplifting about laying down idols and burdens in the midst of community. And it's addicting--as I've gone through my week, I've been painfully aware of more junk in my life that is keeping me from being more intimately identified with Christ.

And isn't it good of God, isn't it just so like Him, to meet us in that place of deep conviction and show us the places that need healing, the things in our lives that must be dealt with? It's in the wake of (and really, in the midst of) confession that I'm recognizing His concern with my heart, His desire to work in me in fresh ways so that I'm not the same person I was yesterday or last year. He is the One who is faithful to finish the work He has begun (1 Thessalonians 5:24, Philippians 1:6).

So here's the Scripture I'm clinging to as things around me are changing:

"May the God of peace, who through the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the Sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Christ Jesus, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (Hebrews 13:20-21).

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Truth, Chels! Praying for you!