by Angie Thomas
This is one of my favorite verses:
But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory…but, as it is written,“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”… (1 Cor. 2:7, 9)
God desires to do something lasting, powerful and unimaginable in our hearts….but we must yield to and submit to Him. And this my friends, requires TRUST in the love and goodness of our Heavenly Father. The enemy will try every way to dissuade you and get you to fear taking a journey towards heart transformation with Jesus. Every time you hear the enemy start to whisper, “It will be too hard,” or, “This is a waste of time. You are already saved. You don’t need to put so much effort into your walk with Christ,” you just turn around and tell him to “SHUT IT!” (thanks Lindsay for the quote).
The truth is, we are saved and made perfect in Christ, but our flesh remains and Christ is still working out His perfect nature in our hearts. It is the paradox of the “now” and “not yet” of our Christian lives. If you feel the tension…don’t be afraid. Remember God’s wonderful promise that, “Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18).
The Message paraphrase of this tension and dilemma we often sense is awesome:
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” (1 Cor. 13:12-13)
But how do we love God extravagantly? It’s fun to talk about but honestly a bit more challenging to live out. John 14:23 says, “Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.'” So, Jesus seems to be saying love and obedience are inseparable, but let’s admit it…we have all been balking at obedience since our first birthday when we began to understand someone telling us, “No!” Which is why we need LOTS of GRACE and each other! Following Jesus can be difficult at times but when we share our struggles and pray for each other the burden is lifted and joy multiplied!
I am so excited to see and experience with all of you the UNIMAGINABLE things God has in store for us, not only in the next few months but in the years and decades that follow as we are more fully equipped to be His disciples!