Our Heavenly Father Has grand designs, but He also incorporates a grand sweep in the divine drama of your life. We want to be immediately swept into the finale with a great crescendo of conformity to Christ, but the Potter is still forming the clay.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that because you know the end of the play that you can act out the drama perfectly well. Part of the result of our fashioning is obedience, for sure, but obedience can be had at times without trust.
We trust our own intentions to piety too much. We vow to be victors, and throw away all our bad things and come right out and say we are never going to do it again, as if that is the path to Jesus’ plan. It isn’t.
Yes, Jesus doesn’t want us doing those things, but His plan involves us being with Him in battle so as to foster trust along the way of the war. We don’t “do it all for Him”, He does it all through us. Too many try and be a hero and wind up being a zero.
Jesus doesn’t want a statement of loyal willpower; He wants to change our hearts so that we trust Him when we don’t feel so heroic. Change is more process oriented (Mark 4:26-28) than crisis oriented (Mark 4:16-17). Change often involves a breakthrough, but lasting, concrete change includes the follow through.
Sin is like water, it has a way of finding the hole and filling up any space left. Jesus doesn’t want the sin to just morph its way around the holes of our heart, He wants the Spirit to fill us so that there is no room for the wicked water to wash around.
When the children of Israel were to take the Promised Land, God told them that it would take time to defeat the Canaanites because otherwise new obstacles would be in the way (Exodus 23:29-30). In our zeal to “get it done” we think we drive out the deadly desire, but we are not as mature as we suppose, and our troubles are multiplied (Matthew 12:43-45).
We rush to grace and think it is faith, but it is presumption of our own faithfulness, which must be proved in battle. Then we will know in experience and of a surety that Christ will be with us through whatever comes (Hebrews 13:5-6).
The times of change come, but it is God who is the timekeeper.