Are you restless yet? Don't be. Living dependent on God's grace can be trying for one's humanity and patience! We like to do! We like to prove. We like to organise and manipulate.
We hate to wait. We are hard of hearing. We are impatient to see results. We want an instant transformation.
Dear Child of God, it will take time! Even God's miracles and wonders have a process. Now, when our humanity comes into play, we have to apply extra grace and patience. Wonder why God calls Himself a long-suffering God? He's like, "you guys don't trust!"
We have to learn to wait on God, trust in God and then obey God. And we won't get it right from the get go. There will be a few more stumbles along the way. There will still be a few more embarrassing mess ups.
We are like children! We are His children. Spiritual babes. We are gods in training... We have the gifts and potential, but don't really know how or what to do with them. To be perfected, we must yield to His counsel and training, and resist our Flesh that likes to run ahead and do what feels good.
To be perfected, we must yield to His counsel and training, and resist our Flesh that likes to run ahead and do what feels good.
You know, God had to put Jesus through this training and testing before He started His ministry. Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness, fasting, as He immersed Himself in the presence of God and denied His Flesh. And at the appointed time, He was ready to serve and fulfill His destiny. And Jesus, when leaving, commanded His disciples to WAIT. They could do no good for His Kingdom until they received empowerment (read 'grace') through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
This process of dying to ourselves, shedding our humanity, is critical to our development as spiritual beings. It is a very trying and painful process indeed. It is painful because we are not actually doing anything! We are ABIDING.
We are resisting the urge to DO what is natural, and simply be attune with God's Spirit, so that we will do what is RIGHT and within His will. We are 'learning God'; to think, feel, talk and do like Him. And as you can imagine, being like God in anyway is not going to be easy.
Learning to wait on God and becoming like Him is a life-long expedition. I imagine even the early disciples fell for this temptation of running ahead of Him sometimes. God had to humble some of them, no doubt.
There is one example of Paul, where he speaks of a 'thorn' in his flesh, but doesn't explicitly tell us what that thorn represented, but only that it was sent to humble him. I don't think it was a real physical thorn, but maybe it was. Three times he asked God to remove it, but God would not. He rather said: "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor 12:9).
Many have used this verse in relation to infirmity, calamity and other issues of life that we must submit to and trust that God is doing something greater through our suffering. But maybe it wasn't physical suffering Paul was alluding to. Maybe it was a hindrance. Maybe it was a humbling time of resistance and waiting, which is painful to any human being. We want it NOW. Sorry, no, YESTERDAY!!!
But time is a gift of God that allows all things to MATURE, and though we often wish we could speed things up, God won't change the process of time. So while you may still be working through some things, but your heart is right and set on God...trust Him through that process. Remain reliant, dependent on Him. Listen to Him, and heed His counsel, and know that His grace is sufficient for you, and His power at work in you will be perfectly revealed in time.
This humbling process is essential for us to APPRECIATE the role and power of grace in our daily lives. We are soooo forgetful. Within a week, we might find ourselves being ungracious to someone else, after we just received a mighty dose of grace from God! We really need to be BAPTISED in grace. We need to be fully immersed in it, and arise soaked in it, so that when we move thereafter, the fragrance of God's grace will remain with us.
If we hasten to move, without learning God's voice and listening for His direction and/or approval, we are going to slow down and stunt our growth in Him. We won't be able to bear as much fruit as we ought, if we had learned to do the ONE thing that is needed. Remember the story of Mary and Martha? Jesus said that ONLY one thing was needed (Luke 10:42). Waiting on God, communing with God, intimacy with God is that ONE thing. When we get that right, we can't go wrong AT ALL!!! That's what JESUS did!!!
So let GRACE work for you. Surrender to it, and it will bear the fruit that God wants it to bear in your life. Stop thinking 'DO'. Rather think 'BE'. If you 'ARE' right, you will do right... Now is the time for intimacy with God...and let Him do His works through you... "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil 2:13). In other words, "let go and let God"!
God bless you! If you have been blessed by this series, do share your comments. There are still more parts to come, but I'm not sure how many. Next week, by God's grace, we will be looking at graciousness and forgiveness. Is there another angle of grace at work in our lives that you would like us to explore or me to shed more light on? I'd love to hear from you.