“I am certain that God, who began a good work in you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
I don’t know about you, but for me, much of my “lack of peace” comes from expectations on myself. Interestingly, though, I am not a perfectionist so this internal pressure is never about how clean my closets are or having my house in perfect order.
For me, these expectations are more spiritual. It is a lack of resting in and embracing the fact that God began a good work in me and will continue until He returns.
God’s work for us began when Christ died on the cross in our place, His work in us began when we first believed in Him, and because of the Holy Spirit living in us we are empowered to become more like Christ every day.
Why then are there so many days when, not only do I feel I haven’t made any spiritual progress much less strides? Some days the words that come out of my mouth or the thoughts that cross my mind leave me sure that instead of progressing in my faith that I’m regressing!
Could it be because I am perhaps one of the Lord's original strong willed children? You know the one's I'm talking about. In fact if you don't have one, you surely know one or perhaps you are one!
The child who spills the cereal and milk all over the floor and through tears struggles to clean it up, all the while making a bigger mess, instead of asking mom or dad for help. A job that is so easily managed by mom, instead incites frustration and feelings of defeat for the strong willed child unwilling to ask for help.
How many of us do that? How many of us go through our days struggling and striving to gain control over or to fix situations, big or small, that can so easily be handled by our Father if we just stop and ask? How much peace would be restored to our life if we just handed over our struggles, that were never ours to begin with, to the God who personally sent his Son to dwell in us, be with us and fight for us?
You see, my words or thoughts or actions that convince me that I’m spiritually stunted come because I am not trusting the Holy Spirit to work in me. I become discouraged or angry and without any consideration for the power dwelling in me, I handle my problems fully clothed in…my flesh! Yep, I’m going in in the flesh! My pride just overrode the Spirit. He is a Gentleman, you know. He won’t force Himself on us or twist our arm to provide the peace filled opportunity to take His way. We have a choice. This is my part in the deal. Will I choose more of me and less of Him? More of Him, less of me?
The real growth comes when we die to our will; when we actively choose the increasing of Jesus and decreasing of ourselves. This is my daily personal struggle. How about you?
Dying is a painful process, but for those of us who know Jesus, peace is promised to be ours on the other side. Let’s choose to die to ourselves more and more each day- painful as it may be- so Jesus can continue His work in us and we can experience His PEACE.
Lord, forgive us for our unbelief that says, “God isn’t going to handle this so I will!” Forgive us for not resting in the fact that what you started in us, you will complete. When we feel incomplete and distressed about our lack of growth, let your Holy Spirit prompt us to release our circumstances to you- one at a time- so you can strengthen and grow us. Restore our peace that we have forfeited through our pride filled strong will. Let your Holy Spirit rise as we lay our will down.
In Jesus’s name,