New International Version – UK (NIVUK)
5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
The journey is the reward. –Chinese Proverb
This very interesting Chinese proverb speaks about the fact that the process in reaching the destination is just as important if not more important and life-impacting than perhaps arriving at the destination itself. And the best part is the promise in God’s word above stating that He will complete the good work in you that He has begun! Yes! Thank You Lord you’re not just going to leave me hanging like this! I’m telling you, it’s all about the process. It’s God working though us, in-order to work stuff out of us. It’s the stripping away of the ungodly characteristics that make us overbearing, greedy, selfish, and more often that we would like to admit, incredibly self-serving. Yikes… is that me?!! It all depends on where you are with your relationship with God at the moment. I’m sure at some point in your journey you may have experienced one or all of these characteristics in a less than perfect moment in time. I know I have. Sometimes knowingly and other times with absolutely no clue (I’m not sure which is worse).
Either way, I am sooo grateful to our God who is not only patient, loving, and kind, but also very forgiving, gracious, and merciful in every way. He gives us chances beyond what any of us deserve and provides us with yet another opportunity to prove that we’ve finally learned His lessons. His love is precious and His presence is powerful!
His presence represented in the Holy Spirit causes us to be convicted (not condemned) into making better choices and understanding His grace truly is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9) for us even in the midst of our moving through the process.
The word process is defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary as “1) a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end. 2) a natural or involuntary series of changes.” This clearly depicts both structure and purpose when on a transformational path.
Think about it. Our God is a God of order—but don’t put Him in a box—He can do as He pleases to accomplish His plans and purposes. What He has highlighted to me over the years, is that He is a God of systems. He created the solar system, respiratory system, neurological system, digestive system, reproductive system, judicial system, etc. So process is important to God. His systematic way of doing things is a model to us and we should look for opportunities in our circumstances, to create systems that help us through the process He is walking us through. These don’t have to be majorly complex systems, in fact the simpler the process the more likely you are to follow it and gain success through it.
Like creating a simple meal plan for the week. That’s a process or a system that is helpful in many ways. It simplifies mealtimes, grocery runs, and in a perfect world if done well, involves the family to the point where they can assist by getting dinner started before you get in from work. This takes the pressure off you and potentially eliminates the eye-rolling from your spouse when you ask the question, “What do you want for dinner tonight?”
As God takes us through His process of peeling away the layers and stripping away the unnecessary junk in our lives, consider how our quick obedience will accelerate the process even further. Remember that delayed obedience is simply disobedience—so let’s choose to cooperate with His process, step-by-step as He leads.
Keep walking strong, Ladies—we serve a BIG and AWESOME God!!