Falling Short is Still Missing the Mark
Perfecting is a Process
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV
- called to be fruitful
- being perfected
The heart of a person is naturally selfish/self-willed and generally, within our nation individuals are encouraged to be independent. Certainly, people ought to apply themselves to something productive, earn a living, and help others. Some forms of independence are very healthy; however, independence from God and His goodness (His love, grace, will, word, ways) deprives a person of unity with the source of all that exists. For too many years the inclinations of my heart drove me deeper into sin, unfulfillment, and an unquenchable desire to satisfy my wants as my top priority. To on-lookers, I would have appeared normal, and by the world’s standards, outwardly I may have even appeared to be good and somewhat successful at my endeavours.
The truth of the matter is that I did not understand pure love and I lived with a fear of the end of this mortal life. I knew that there was more than this existence and I had believed there was a God, but I did not know how to rid myself of thoughts and tendencies that were innate. What was worse, I didn’t truly want to change; I just wanted to escape the consequences.
One day, God opened my eyes to see the truth of His word and changed my heart so that I was able to desire change and acknowledge I needed the Saviour God had provided. When I “chose” to submit myself to Jesus Christ as my LORD, through His Spirit, Jesus and I entered into a love affair unlike anything I could have imagined. I was delivered from habits that needed to go right away, and as I read His Word, my spirit received Godly knowledge that shaped my thinking, At first, I didn’t even understand it deeply as I read it, but it was still effective.
It’s been many years now and while I am not the same person I was before my encounter with the LORD, and I’m so delighted that God continues to refine me. He has been teaching me that His grace gives me the ability to choose right and excellent actions by His standards although it can be incredibly difficult. The things the world considers not a big deal (grumbling, complaining, being inappropriately unyielding, worrying, etc.) are sometimes the hardest things to stop doing.
Yet, when I consider Christ purposely endured torture, ridicule and death on the cross in submission to His Father to reconcile whosoever will to the HOPE of eternal life with the source of all goodness, then I realize that temporary trials and troubles are more than just something to overcome. These tests are the things that give God glory when His power to overcome is manifested within me. My prayer is that I will walk humbly with my God in right relationship and to be faithful to His desire for my fruitfulness.
Christ likens Himself to the vine and those who follow Him like branches. The vine is established first and from the vine, the branches grow and produce fruit that is to be useful. This truth is profound especially since my choice to follow Christ stems from Him, His call, His purpose. He chose me first and changed my heart so that I could then choose Him.
Some might think I have been pretty generic about my prior sinful life. My story is very similar to anyone who has been redeemed. Which sins did I commit? It no longer matters since Christ’s atonement of everyone’s sins is forever sufficient to cover the penalty of death. The Bible contains numerous accounts of idolaters, murderers, adulterers, liars, thieves, self-absorbed, unbelieving, and blasphemous people who were drastically transformed by the love and grace of God. Some of the greatest role models in the Bible were once numbered among the depraved until illuminated by Jehovah – the LORD.
This site is dedicated to bringing God glory and is designed to praise the worthy Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. It intentionally avoids bringing this previously self-centred person unnecessary attention. Everything I have and am is because of the grace and goodness of God.
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