Thursday, July 24, 2008
God's work in me - and my "Israel in the desert" response
I was talking with a friend recently, bemoaning the fact that I don't feel like God is changing me "enough" (I know, pride of all prides!). I have finally realized that, not only do I not "save" myself, I don't sanctify myself either. Having realized that, my constant prayer is now "Lord, please don't leave me as I am." I am seeking God more fervently than I have in a very long time, if ever. But, there are days when I look at my own sinfulness, and I say: "God, why is this still an issue? Why do I still struggle with this? Why aren't I perfect yet . . . ?" (Ok, I don't ask that last question, but that's essentially what I'm wondering!). I suppose I'm in good company when I ask these questions - Paul asked the same things in Corinthians. Sin is, indeed, still at work in me, and God is still at work even stronger, changing me. God's timetable and processes are much longer and more complex than I will ever realize. often His greatest works are done when I don't even realize something is happening - it's only after the fact, when I notice a new response coming out of me, that I realize God has refined another jagged edge. And that's probably the best way - if I was more actively involved in this whole sanctification process, I'd probably try to "take it from here on my own, thank you very much." I caught the headline of an article on a Christian study sight and stopped to read a little further - it was called "How to Whine Effectively." While the article didn't actually teach me how to whine, it did point out a major conviction point for me. God got angry at the Israelites in the desert when they whined and complained about Him - "why did He take us out of Israel to die in the desert?" Think about it - here was Israel, having been set free from slavery, oppression, beatings, and death, having been led through the Red Sea, being given a place to sleep every night, and having food and water delivered to them (supernaturally, I might add) every day . . . and they were complaining about God! God got angry with them because their whining was an indication of their pride. That's the part that got me. Ouch. Here I am living in America; I always have food on my table, a place to sleep at night, clothes to wear; I have a wonderful husband and two precious, healthy children; I have never been abused, mistreated, maligned, etc, in any real meaning of the words . . . and yet, here I sit complaining about what God is doing in me. Please excuse me while I step out of the way of that lightening bolt from heaven . . . Father, forgive me for my pride. Can we add that to the list of things that still need to be changed in me . . . ?