Getting Out of The Way
“[Jesus Christ] and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever.”
Revelation 1:6 (NKJV UK)
Look around your congregation and at your fellow members. It’s rare to conclude that you would have chosen even a one of them. It’s the same when a friend introduces you to his new fiancée. You quietly question to yourself, “What does he see in her?”
The truth is that we all have flaws. Many a wife has thought as she stepped up the aisle and looked at her future husband: “I’ll soon change you!” But it’s rare to accomplish that. Most people, with their flaws and shortcomings, usually remain exactly the way they were throughout life. For the Christian, our only hope is to allow Christ to change us. Only so many Christians, too, remain exactly the way they were at conversion. No doubt that Christian remains acceptable to Christ—he doesn’t give up on us; but what a waste! After all, when we repented we set out to change, or rather to be changed. To remain exactly the way we were at our calling is selling ourselves seriously short.
Of course, we can’t change ourselves. We used to think that we could. But only Jesus can change us, and he will only do that with our willing co-operation. Learn the example of Christ who bent his free will to that of his Father. “Not My will, but Yours, be done,” he said (Luke 22:42). Jesus willingly surrendered his free will to that of the Father. For us, it’s part of repentance, or it should be. Sometimes we say “Thy will be done,” but often we don’t mean it. Very often our prayer is more, “This is my will, Father.” And the sooner the Father gets on and does things our way the better! We, on the other hand, are given a lifetime to make the changes we need to make, only possible with God’s help and our willing co-operation. And the sooner we start seeking his will rather than our own, the better for us.
But things, jobs, partner, monetary pressures, health, disagreement with the church over something, whatever—things get in the way. Are we penalised for such behaviour? Well, often God seems content to continue working with that individual. So, superficially, the answer appears to be, No. But then, we are the ones who penalise ourselves. Does God eventually give up on us? Oh no, but we can give up on him. God’s code of conduct towards us seems to be that while we continue to walk with him, however haphazard and slipshod that might be, he will continue to work with us. But that doesn’t seem to me to be a very comfortable or secure position in which to be. Surely God wants the very best for us, but that is often left up to us.
Merciful Father, we are so often our own worst enemies. Help us to get out of the way and so move forward into who you want us to become. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by John Stettaford
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6th Form Common Room
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READING RG30 4EL
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