I had a wonderful visit this last weekend with my two older sisters and my brother-in-law who drove up from Georgia and Tennessee to visit us at our home in Kentucky.  My brother-in-law is a hard-working, devoted man of God who has exemplified the ethos of Christian service in his life, doing so many services for family and others over the years.  And both of my sisters are very sweet Christian women.  I can see so much of Jesus in them as they have both tried to do the right thing and have grown in the Lord despite significant challenges in their lives over the years.  I always enjoy visiting with my sisters and brother-in-law since we share so many experiences and theological and philosophical viewpoints.  In the course of our many conversations during the visit, the topics touched on the many people in our lives over the years and at present.  One theme that God kept bringing to my mind during the discussions was the growth or stagnation of some people in their walk with God.

From the experience of years, I can now look at my life and see the tremendous changes God has made in my character, my thinking, and my feelings as well.  Sometimes it is hard for one to see the changes God makes in you in the present because He works so subtly, changing each person in small steps.  But the small steps begin to mount over the years, if you remain committed to a Christian walk, submitting to God in all things, and remain committed to loving service and to prayer and meditation on His Word.  Eventually, you reach a point that you can look back on the years and not recognize the person you once were.  However, from the experience of years, I can also look around me at other people that I’ve known over the years or people that I know at present that are around my age, and I can see that there are people that do not change or change very little.  God usually does not force himself on us, so we have to be willing to change.  We have to be submissive to His touch when he tries to mold us just as a potter molds the clay (Isaiah 64:8 and Jeremiah 18:1-7). 

But it is clear that some do not submit willingly to the touch of God and resist all change, as if they have told God, “This is as far as I go, and I will not go any further.” I see and have seen many that harden their minds, becoming “willingly ignorant” of the truth (2 Peter 3:5).  Also, many harden their hearts and wills, not allowing any work of God’s Spirit (Ephesians 4:18).  It is truly a mystery to me why people would choose ignorance and sin over the freedom that God gives us when He works in our lives, but there are many who do so.  For some, it is because of fear and unwillingness to sacrifice or submit; they are comfortable in the place they are in and believe it is enough.  They are not willing to risk anything further, not willing to have any discomfort.  Some are simply lazy and are not willing to do the work or risk the pain of going through those difficult experiences that result in growth.  Still others are full of pride and have darkened their consciences, not seeing the truth because they think in their pride that they know everything they need to know and will not listen to wisdom from God and from others.  There may be still other reasons for people choosing sin, but it is hard for me to understand, knowing how richly God has blessed me by His work in my heart and mind, why anyone would reject the riches of God for the treasures of this world which can be corrupted and stolen (Matthew 6:19-21).     

I pray that you would discover the riches of God in your life and that you would be submissive to His touch, growing in Him more every day.    

 


Comments

09/15/2017 12:49am

Glad to be able to follow your article at any time. It provides a great education

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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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