When a good friend of mine and I first came to the Lord we use to go to every conference and church meeting we could find. Oh, how excited we were, and so on fire for God! We wanted to be like Christ. We wanted to know God’s word. We wanted to be all He desired us to be. We had learned that in order to accomplish this we needed to “die to self”. And when we tried putting it into practice all we succeeded in doing was to turn off those around us to the things of God. But that didn’t stop us. We were determined. Even our phone calls to each other were prefaced with the words, “are you dead yet?”
But being merciful, God began to open Zechariah 4:6b to us, “not by might nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts”. This call to holiness, this dying to self was not to be a grit-your-teeth I’m-going-to-do-this-if-it-kills-me exercise but a work of God’s Holy Spirit. And so the real transformation began—the gentle changing from within. People and situations that once bothered us or could press our buttons, no longer did. We began to see things differently, feel differently, act differently. It seemed too easy! It couldn’t be real, could it? All we did was to completely rely on God, confess our sins as they occurred, put them under the blood, then ask God to change our attitudes, our actions; ask God to make us more like Him in a given situation.
But it was that easy because God was doing the work. Yet in another sense, it was hard, too, because we had to see ourselves for what we were, acknowledge our short comings, then be willing to allow God to change those things in us. And this could cause pain or disruption our lives, and, at times, even turn them upside down.
Now, when my friend and I talk we never ask each other if we’re “dead yet.” We know better. As long as there’s breath in our bodies we’ll need the Holy Spirit to continue His work for there will always be issues needing attention. But we can take heart because we are God’s workmanship, not ours, and He’ll never give up on us. Doesn’t Philippians 1:6 tell us that “being confident of this very thing, that he (Holy Spirit) which hath began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”?
It sure beats trying to do it on your own.
Until next week,