One morning this week I woke up and read a message in my inbox which really irked me. To be honest I found myself wanting to give this unknown person who’d decided to comment on something, a piece of my mind. Then as a result of my angry feelings I became disappointed in myself and had to acknowledge I’m still a work in progress with triggers that try and take me places that don’t reflect my relationship with Jesus or who I want to be.
The fact is we’re all works in progress, or what God calls His masterpiece. When we invite Jesus to be part of our lives we are changed and get a new life in Him. We are a new creation – brand new. However we still have to walk and talk out that new creation reality to make it an everyday part of who we are. God has this funny trait of speaking those things that are not as though they are, but He has the finished picture in mind when he talks about us. He leads and guides us in living out that finished masterpiece, but it takes us listening and being malleable in his hands for the process to go smoothly and for us to walk fully into all that He says is who we are.
Jesus says I am brave and courageous, yet too often I have struggled with fear and doubt. He says I am loving and kind, creative, strong and able to do impossible things with Him. Yet so often I haven’t felt or thought any of those things. I don’t particularly want to be loving when someone has messed with me or those I care about – at those times I’d quite happily have a few minutes to do as I wish, rather than keeping my life and actions in line with what Jesus asks of me.
Over time however I have learnt that when we align our lives; our thoughts, words and actions up with what Jesus says in His word, that things work out better overall. It’s a process and it is what I think God means when He asks us to be like living sacrifices – that we will sacrifice what we want to do and say in deference to what God asks of us and the work he is doing within us. (Romans 12:1) We get to choose everyday whether we remain in a position of surrender and as a result continual transformation to be more like Jesus and the person He says we are, or allow our flesh and old way of life to rise up and have it’s way.
Being a follower of Jesus is not for the faint hearted -it takes commitment, resolve, sacrifice and a willingness to trust and believe. Wholeheartedly following Jesus requires you to die continually to yourself and to live at times a very different lifestyle that often makes no sense to those who don’t know Him.
But when you have a breakthrough, when you see and feel God’s hand working in and through you, when you experience real change and start to glimpse this really great, amazing person who is better than you ever dreamed looking back in the mirror at you, it’s all worth it. When you see other people’s lives being impacted and blessed, and build these amazing relationships because you chose to walk closely with Jesus, you’ll know….. You’ll know you’ve been making the right choice and start to not even care that much anymore about the things you’ve had to leave behind and let go of.
Don’t be discouraged if you’ve realised you are still a work in progress – we all are. The thing is to keep letting Jesus work in you as you become all that He says you are.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10)
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” (Romans 12:1)
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Prayer: Lord thank you that you love and never give up on me. Please continue to work in me today. In Jesus name Amen.