Walking with God (Pt. 2)
Your developing life story is a complex and organic journey. It is deeply personal. Much of it remains between you and God, as it should.
In the mire of that complexity, it can be hard to fathom His greater plan for you. Only God knows the end from the beginning, so He alone has the unique perspective of seeing your life as if looking back from the finish line. What looks to you as being confused, inconsistent in direction, and frustratingly slow, is from God’s perspective a developing mosaic of grace and purpose.
Think for a moment on the seasons of growth and challenge that have come before you. What was God growing in you through that? Was it patience, forgiveness, endurance, or perhaps trust? The majority of what God builds in us is internal. He is concerned with and committed to growing our heart.
I let you in a few of my stories in my last blog. You may or may not have related to any of the lessons, but what you will relate to are the moments of surrender and submission. You have had them too. They are like radical forks in the road where one path goes around the mountain while the other looks like it heads off a cliff.
Sooner or later, the idea of going around the mountain again is unacceptable, and you know it is time to leap in faith.
What may surprise you is the amount of consistency and intentionality there is in what God is doing in you and everyone else. Our paths all look radically different, and yet there are some flexible patterns and principles of redemption at work in all of us, which have been in place since we left the Garden of Eden.
The Big Three
God is all about bringing you to life. Abundant life – a life full of peace and impact.1 We are all called to experience that, although not all who are called by God choose to accept His offer or continue in the process.2 As messy as the journey can be, if we are aware of what the big picture and process is, we can cooperate with it more easily.
Think again about what God has been developing in you. There are all sorts of specifics that relate to you alone, but if you could categorise what He is up to, it would help make sense of it all.
I like to reflect on the musings of the Apostle Paul on this. Now and again, he would break from his heavy theology and discussion of how we should be behaving, and reflect on issues of the heart. First Corinthians Chapter 13 is such a passage. There he is focusing on the eternal value of love in comparison to so much else that we busy ourselves with.
He declares that most of the very best we do in life is limited and temporal. But one day it will all be different. Then he gives the clincher: “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”3
Paul is saying that the only things in common between our life now and our life then will be those three things – faith, hope, and love.
When God is at work in you, He is building into you an eternal purpose that will never fade. He is developing only that which matters forever. We invest time and effort in building skills and possessions, all of which will disappear! God, however, builds your heart, and your heart lives on.
All that He is doing in you could be distilled down to these core elements: faith, hope, and love.
He builds faith because our fallen bias is to be self-reliant and self-determined. While that can keep our minds busy, it ensures our hearts remain weary and alone. Our heart was made to dwell with and rely on Him, and God is determined to bring your heart home.
He restores hope because that is the very perspective of heaven. Hope is a way of thinking that has optimism based on the goodness and plans of God. Without hope, our hearts wither and fail. We are designed to be inspired by what is possible in Him.
God builds love because we are His children who reflect His image. God is love, it is His very nature. Therefore, He cannot help but sacrificially love. At our deepest level, we are at our best when we engage in that love, and in turn release it to a thirsty world.
God’s Spirit is constantly working to build faith, hope, and love within you. In your journey, though, you will be able to pinpoint moments where one facet in particular is being drawn out. With a little bit of awareness of your overall developmental journey, you can actually buy-in more intentionally to the process.
In next week’s post, we will look into this some more.
Can you pinpoint moments in the past where God has drawn out faith, hope or love within you? How did you feel during this season? Were you able to partner with God with intentionality during this time?
- John 10:10; John 15:16
- Matthew 22:14
- 1 Corinthians 13:13