A Good Work In You

Humans are a needy lot. Beyond imperatives like food, shelter, and sleep, we need affirmation, hope, motivation, truth, non-fragmented thoughts, noble attitudes, competence, friendships, acceptance, wisdom, and on and on and on.

dovetail-joints--for blogUDU2Ny0yNDcuMjQ5ODM= (1)Do we rely on God to meet our needs? Our areas of lack dovetail with God’s provision. Our needs are a mortise filled with God’s perfectly-fitted tenon. It is a partnership, a melding of a finite human and the infinite God.

John 15:4-  “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 

Often our needy lives merit considerable restoration. If a piece of furniture could do the impossible and re-grow its own broken or missing parts, it would be called rejuvenation. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could rejuvenate all that we ever lost?

But when it involves the unwillingness of other people, rejuvenation isn’t always possible. That’s when God provides a replacement. God DOES fill the need. He has a detailed, complete plan for your restoration. He dovetails pieces together while crafting the fulfillment of that plan. He is at work creating a masterpiece only he fully envisions.

carpenter, inlaid wood

No single piece of wood comprehends its placement during the design process. As a part being manipulated in the carpenter’s hand, we can’t see his plan. Yielding control to him often elicits anxiety — we fear what he’s going to do and when. We need to remember:

Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

Psalm 62:5 “Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him.” (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Be still, soul. Rest in God alone. You need not fear him. He is concerned for your well-being.

Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.” (Common English Bible)

Trust that God is tirelessly at work meeting your needs, restoring your soul, and establishing your good future.

He will choose the inerrant time to move you from his secluded workshop and publicly unveil his great work. Your purposeful and meaningful life will be recognized as one unable to have been crafted by man alone.

There is sure to be awe-inspiring beauty in his finished work.

inlaid floor for blog

John 15:8 “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”


Take Charge – Hope and a Future

In our lifetimes, we are given countless chances and opportunities. That doesn’t mean we always notice them. Or take them. Sometimes we see a chance—we even want it badly—but let it pass by. While others take charge of their lives and seize opportunities, our feet are stuck in mud. Or we’re caught in a strong current and can’t break free.

river pic for blog 1Let’s use a river metaphor. A man wants in, but is waiting for someone to set him safely on a raft in the center of the river. In another case, a woman is in the water and wants out—her river is cold and ruthless—but she stays there, captive to the current. Both the man and woman think the power to change their circumstances is in someone else’s hands.

Do people see themselves as having a victim mentality? Most don’t. They have views such as “accept the bad with the good”, “it’s karma”, or “it’s fate.” With a sigh of resignation, many Christians say, “God’s in charge”.

But if we asked God instead of presuming his thoughts, what would he say about fate, chances and opportunities? How much of our lives does he view as ours to control? How many opportunities do we miss and fail to take, that God may have set up for us?

Our paradigm of life determines how we address this issue. If our philosophy is that karma, God, or some immovable force controls our lives, we are likely to put up no resistance when things go badly. We train ourselves to accept that “shit happens”, as the saying goes. On the other hand, if our philosophy is that we exclusively control our life and there is no God, we are likely to exert much resistance when the current of life pulls us in undesired directions.

Those two philosophies are quite polar. Most people’s paradigms are somewhere in the middle. And almost all people have those views without being cognizant of them — they lay somewhere deep in the subconscious, having been covertly adopted in the midst of events that occurred from birth forward.

How much damage do we do to ourselves unknowingly, due to our subconscious philosophies? How many currents of life have swept us into directions we never belonged, because we didn’t put up resistance? We may have believed it was God’s doing, when it might not have been. It may even have been Satan’s doing. How do we know? How do we manage life without knowing?

river current for blogI think we get tossed, pulled, tugged, and overtaken by evil on a regular basis. And I think we develop philosophies about those currents in order to console ourselves.

How can we know what to accept and what to resist? Is it possible to discern? Doesn’t it seem overwhelming, even hopeless? Who are we to out-whit powerful, wanton forces?

There is a way to avert being a victim of harmful circumstances. With God, it’s possible to take charge of your life. All the enemy powers of the world united, can’t destroy God. Your team may include only you and God, but focus on who your teammate is!

Romans 8:31 – What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

God will show you how to overcome what is not from him. You can beat illusive and powerful strongholds that have controlled your life and mind. You don’t have to know the outcome of each conflict in advance, or what skirmishes might be ahead, just face each day with God as your ally.

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Seek His thoughts and plans for you. Wait. Listen. Understand. Then agree with Him and make decisions accordingly.