24 February 2008

Change and Sanctification

Ever have the feeling that you're on the verge of change? I have that feeling now. I believe that's because God is about to make me very uncomfortable. Why do I believe it? Because I've asked him to. I know myself well enough to know that even though I have asked Him for change, I am likely going to fight Him about it. Unless He does something to rewire me, I have a pretty typical pattern set. First I see the need to change, and then I ask Him to change me. Next I resent the changes He is making and fight Him by kicking at the goads, pouting and being resentful. After that doesn't work for me, I get tired and broken and call for His help. He is always merciful and sends someone to encourage me to see the good in what God is doing. Next I repent, wonder why I fought Him so hard and enjoy a wonderful honeymoon period with Him. I call it a honeymoon period because I am dumb as dirt and my sinful heart is going to restart the whole process by asking Him to change me yet again. Wouldn't it be clever of me to skip all the steps between asking Him to change me and enjoying His company with gratitude for my sanctification?

I bought this book on the recommendation of a friend. I know I am going to be convicted when I read it.
Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate
Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate by Jerry Bridges

I am so certain that I will be convicted that I am actually following a self-imposed ban on reading anything new until the things I have half-read around the house are read and back on the shelves of my library. Talk about stalling!

So, what do I think God is going to address for me? I am a malcontent. I have been searching for good sermons on coveting and haven't really found any. I don't covet material things, I covet those things that don't fit in a box and that you cannot buy in a store. I covet talent and ability. I also covet situation. So I predict that I am going to be convicted over my lack of contentment. I am going to cry over it- big tears. First I will cry because I don't like to be wrong and then I will cry real tears of repentance.

God takes wonderful care of me. My physical needs are met with abundance. I don't want or need more stuff. The trouble with what I want is that none of it is unreasonable in and of itself. I don't want fame or fortune. I don't want status or notoriety. However, my desires, though reasonable, are entirely selfish. For example, I want to be able to sing with a voice that is always in perfect pitch. I don't give a rip if anyone but God hears me sing, I just want to sing from my heart and have the right melody come out.

I so appreciate art, I want to be able to paint a beautiful landscape or still life. I don't want to be famous, not ever. I don't care to sell a single work. I just want to be able to paint something that begins to resemble what it is that I see. I want to be an expert in something, something that would be helpful to others- like gardening. I want to grow food and flowers in abundance. Enough to give away lots and lots.

I want someone to want my company above everyone else save God. Not for every moment of the day nor every day of the year, but every once in a while I want to be first on someone's list of folks to talk to or have coffee with because they enjoy me, quirks and all.

Oh yeah, change is coming. I see the need for a major overhaul in my life and lots of lessons on being content. I am cautiously optimistic though. Feel free to ask me if I have started the book, it will keep me honest.

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