God demands change. He ordains it. He causes it. Change is not optional. I know this and yet I cannot keep myself from resisting change. It's really not logical of me because I complain a lot about my circumstances and yet, I complain a lot when they change. I seem to live in a constant state of not knowing what I really want while knowing that I really don't want what I have. God is working on me though. What was that 70s catch phrase from my "Jesus Freak" period? PBPGINFWMY. Please Be Patient God Is Not Finished With Me Yet. Perhaps that was my short lived Bill Gothard period. It was definitely before my, 'study the Word and show yourself approved' period. (2 Timothy 2:15)
I have been asked to give my testimony at our community ladies bible study. God and I have this deal, when I am asked to give my testimony, I give it. It is something I take seriously and put a lot of thought into. I have had a pretty amazing life... the stuff movies on TV are made of... and yet I can claim no responsibility for the incredible things that have occurred. When giving my testimony, it could be tempting for me to try and sensationalize my experiences. It would be so easy to present a feelings motivated speech about my life, jerk some tears out of people and then give an emotionalized presentation of the gospel according to Rosemarie- throw the Lord's name in it, ask for commitments or re-commitments to follow Christ and call it good. God forbid.
I tend to read Ephesians 4 and Galatians 5 when I am preparing to give testimony of my salvation. In Ephesians I concentrate on the "formerly you were" and "putting on the new" verses. In Galatians I compare the deeds of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit. It is usually a time where my awe and wonder for God increases because I can see what He has done, what changes He has made and is making. I think if we believers really focused on that, we would all feel like we had incredible lives, lives that are orchestrated in every way by a sovereign, merciful God. We would welcome the events that make us think, "Things can never be the same" with the attitude that "Things may never be the same in order that they can get better." We would do that if we truly believed our lives were all about His glory and our good.
Even my most recent brush with death and the circumstances of my recovery have been a testimony of God's perfect timing and continuing work in my life. He is softening me. He is using my frailty and infirmity to strengthen my faith. I have been blessed by the practical help I have received from the believers He has placed in my life. I have had food delivered, floors vacuumed, toilets cleaned and prayers on my behalf. God does put the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6, 113:9). He is changing me from a 'touch me not' to one who loves a good hug. From someone who is willing to do for others into someone willing to be blessed by others. A small thing for some but monumental changes for me.
So, here I am reflecting on my life and how different it is. Without my permission, God is sanctifying and changing me. The more He does, the less I seem to resist it or the less I kick at the goads. I have moments though. Moments when I look at Ephesians 4 and Galatians 5 and see more sin and rebellion in me than obedience and fruit. Those are the times I run to the Psalms and actually ask Him for change. Real change. Psalm 51 and 139 changes.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Thy presence, and do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit.