Tuesday, July 31, 2007

How We're Being Changed (a.k.a. What We're Learning) Part 1

(The first is a better question as too many of us habitually settle for the cognitive nature of the second.)

These past weeks have been tough on our family, with many national and foreign friends moving away, a lot of language struggles, and the change of plans in birthing our 4th child in Thailand where we will be displaced for 2 months. In this process, our zeal and impatience have had to be quite tempered. We are not promised anything in the short or long term, except his pleasure as we reflect on him, obey, and enjoy Him. This can be a hard pill to swallow. Oswald Chamber’s entry in “Utmost for His Highest” (July 28th) summarizes what we’ve been learning, entitled “Obedience…now what?”

One word of encouragement to us that we’d like to share with you comes from Ephesians 2:20, often overlooked when people teach on this passage. Paul remarks that we were “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” There is great encouragement in this verse for it tells us that there are significant works for us to do which He has prepared for us! We all want to lived significantly; the problem comes when we start getting too choosy about which works those will be or the timing of them. Don’t get me wrong—we can forfeit significant living by indulgence in the comforts of the culture, by avoidance of pain, discipline and hardship, or ignored sin. However, there is much reason to rejoice when we realize that it is not up to us to create our own works of service and that in fact the Lord has sovereignly equipped (Eph. 4:7; Rom 12:6) and assigned us certain works to do. This ought to instill in us hope, patience, faith, and endurance when we are not doing the what we’d rather choose to do or in the timing we’d like. We must remember that even the great saints of Scripture could not have described the daily ins and out of their life by the few episodes we read about in Scripture (i.e. Moses didn’t see burning bushes and go through raging sees every day).

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