Monday, December 12, 2016

A Life of Becoming

2 Corinthians 4:7-18

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.   NIV Bible Gateway.com

   Probably the greatest obstacle to understanding God's purpose for brokenness is this: Most believers think of Christianity as something we do. We pray. We read the Bible. We go to church. We sing hymns. We tithe. We do and do - and assume that's the Christian life. It's not.
  Authentic Christianity is about becoming rather than doing. The life of faith that God designed involves receiving Jesus into our heart and allowing Him to change our habits, mindsets, beliefs, interests, and concerns so we become more and more like Him.
   This realization will change our perspective on the heartache we must endure. You see, when we recognize that the Christian life is about Jesus' persistent work of "re-creation" in us, then the role of brokenness will make more sense. It's the process the Lord uses to strip us of things that have become - or may one day become - an obstacle to our spiritual growth. He also uses this tool to address issues we may have declared "off limits" to Him, such as unhealthy behaviors or relationships that we reationalize.
   God doesn't want to be Lord of most of your life; He wants to be Lord of all of your life! So He zeroes in on areas of self-will and self-sufficiency to eliminate everything that is relying on "self." He uses brokenness to remove those inclinations so you can live moment by moment, day by day, in full dependence on Him.
   Open your heart, and ask God to reveal any selfish strongholds. Let Him break any unhealthy behavior patterns in your life. He will.

Stanley, Charles F. "A Life of Becoming." In Touch: Daily Readings For Devoted Living October 2016. Atlanta: In Touch Ministries. page 11.

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