Monday, May 2, 2011

His Goodness... the Outward, Ongoing Journey...

His Goodness III - The Outward, Ongoing Journey

by Michelle Myers on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 3:04pm
Based on the BSF study on Romans
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Rom 15:13

Abound. Hope. Joy. Peace.
Paul was filled with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. He believed Christ was the Son of God and believed His saving power was a gift to both Jews and Gentiles. This was the mystery he revealed throughout Romans and many of his other books.

It is amazing to see Paul's life start as Saul the persecutor and finish as Paul the nurturer. I gleen from his life many things. But today I focus on the ongoing task of living life, in pressing onward; to abound in hope and to be filled with all joy and peace by the power of the Holy Spirit.

My ongoing journey as a Christ-follower started many years ago.
I did not have a dramatic roadside encounter with Christ like Paul did. What I did have was an opportunity, a choice, a descision to make to believe in Christ. I took it at the young and tender age of 6. I remember my parents and sibiliings and I were at a Christian Summer Family Camp where we did many fun activities. But the only event I can truly say I remember was the presentation of the gospel and what I chose to do with it.

I remember vividly. There was a short skit about little David defeating the enormous giant, Goliath. For some reason, it was then that I realized I needed God. I looked at Goliath who was dressed up in this huge costume which seemed to reach the tops of trees. He seemed so real. I looked at David too. He reminded me of me. Young. Short. Defensless. David seemed defensless but his courage and boldness next to such a giant impressed me. If I were David I would certainly call upon my Daddy to save me, and even fight for me, I thought. There is no way I could do it. But then again, even my own Daddy would never be a match for this giant. How then could David be so bold and courageous? David's words amazed me,

"You come to me with a sword, a spear and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts; the God of the armies of Israel whom you have taunted. This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands and I will strike you down and and remove your head from you...that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord's and He will give you into our hands." 1 Samuel 17:45-47

As a 6yr old I knew I needed a Big God to fight for me. I knew I could not do it on my own. Someday I might have to face a giant and I would want God on my side! A revelation came to me: God must be even bigger than my daddy!

As young as I was then, the whole picture of the gospel was yet to be internalized and understood. "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3 But I knew the important thing. God is real and I need Him. He will always be the biggest and will always win the battle.

In my young adult life I had a few giants to fight. Some battles were won because God was there to do the work. He recieves all the glory for it! He gets all the glory for winning over the hearts of the few young girls I shared the gospel with; for winning the hearts and minds of young men and women who chose to be faithful to their future spouses when I spoke on sex before marraige in schools and youth groups(a long time ago); for healing the hearts of broken people and in need of tangible help and assistance. He recieves all the glory, for He does the work in the hearts and lives of real people. Something I could never do. It is my aim, like Paul, to glory(or boast) in Jesus Christ alone. (Rom 15:17)

But to be genuine, I did not and still do not always trust God in the battles. Rather, many times I think I have to do it on my own or call on others to do the fighting for me. I have to admit, its a good way to get out of a situation, a commitment, a challenge, but its just an easy way out. When the going gets tough and the stress of my Christian walk is tested, I can so easily feel like giving up, like throwing in the towel or like ignoring it until it goes away. This is just not right. Quit? Its just not what believers do, right? Imagine what lessons and truths I would have missed if David had given up as he observed the power of the giant. His example of hope in an even powerful God would never be there in the Bible!

Yet this is exactly the choice I face on a daily basis. To give up or press on. To let myself wither away into an ineffective, apathetic, fearful Christian, or be on the alert and ready to fight as David was. Knowing that God is doing the fighting must pull some weight on the decision, but still for many of us we have a hard time giving up complete control or final outcome. Having started out as a youthful, vibrant and ambitious believer in Christ, I still wish to be one. But I recently told my mentor I felt like a perrenial daisy just pushing through the surface on a warm spring day after a long cold winter. Knowing I had once bloomed in the past, I am now preparing for the days ahead to be ready to bloom again for the glory of God. I will never quit!

One of my pastors said some profound things last Sunday. He said we spend only a little of our life under the highlight of great achievment - even if it is for the Lord. David fought Goliath and won the battle in just one day. Most of his life was spent in the fields tending sheep. A professional violinist will spend an enitire life practicing and training with rare occasions of performance. We must focus on being the person God wants us to be wherever we are at. Its a lesson of being faithful in the little, where most of our lives are spent anyway.

This brings me back to the life of Paul. At the end of Romans he lists many names of which he wishes to greet in Christ. But they are not just names. Paul spent quality time, knew them intimately, their struggles and hardships. He really knew these people and loved them deeply. Each of these are real people who loved God and served other beilevers in the church. Many are mentioned in other books of the Bible. The point is, our lives are ment to be lived to impact others for Christ on a normal, everyday basis. Just as Paul's life and the others listed made an impact on others for Christ in the midst of daily struggles, so I should do the same. Its an ongoing, outward journey. God does the work and recieves the glory for it all.

We grow in grace. Grace upon grace, He pours out His lovingkindness. The fight, the race, the struggles will be won because of who God is, not who David is or I am or because of the ablilities we have as individuals.
All the work is to be done by God. All the glory is His. He is Goodness.

No comments:

Post a Comment