How well I remember that day in 1995 when I rededicated my life to Jesus and became serious about my life as a representative of Christ. I felt Christ working in my life in a major way. He had shown me that I had to change my entire attitude and lifestyle. I was not doing well with the life He had blessed me with. I spent three years seriously praying and seeking God’s guidance in changing my life into something pleasing to His eyes and ears. Along the way I found much comfort in this passage from Philippians:
There definitely needs to be a theme of ongoing thanksgiving in your life as a Christian. God gives us so much and I always feel like I have so little to give to Him in return. What does God ask of us in return? Our thanks.
We live in an age of instant gratification, where if we want something—anything—we can run out to Wal-Mart and buy it. Our family needs supper - order in the little box, drive up to the next window - instant supper!
It does not work that way with God. His plan is perfect and will come to pass in His perfect timing. This is a hard concept for many of us to grasp. It is easy to know it but difficult to follow because following involves waiting, and many of us are not very good at waiting. (guilty as charge!)
In my case, I knew I had to change and that through Christ anything was possible (Mark 9:23). Consequently, I knew that I would change, but my plan called for it to happen instantaneously. God knew, however, that I had a few things that I needed to learn first.
Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.” Basically, what Paul is trying to say is, “Trust God’s will to be good. Test your confidence as a Christian by doing God’s will, and you will discover that God’s way truly is good, pleasing and perfect.”
God’s plan is perfect - what God had planned for me was perfect. I had to learn to stop being my stubborn, independent self and wait on Him. I have heard these next verses quoted often, but only now, years after my transformation began, can I truly understand them: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me” (Jer. 29:11-13). Because He is our God, He has plans for us. Those plans are flawless and favorable. They will not all become evident tomorrow but as we wait we can be excited because our hope is in Him.
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