Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Maybe we can chew on this together

So, in my last post I said that I would have something else later, well, its later now. As we are in the midst of this transition something I read from Mark Batterson (pastor at National Community Church in Washington, D.C.) has really been sticking with me and I can't help but think it is a God thing, so below is what he wrote in a blog post:

"Purify yourselves for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you." Joshua 3:5

Your potential is determined by your purity. If your motives are pure, there is nothing God cannot do through you. Instead of focusing all of our energy on planning the future maybe we ought to focus on purifying ourselves. After all, that is how God prepares us. You want to be used by God? Purify yourself. You want the favor of God? Purify yourself. You want to experience peace and joy? Purify yourself. You want to see God do wonders? Purify yourself. Or maybe I should say: let God purify you. You can't do it yourself. But Christ has done it for you on the cross.

The way you prepare yourself for tomorrow is by purifying yourself today!

How? It starts with repentance. If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Confession is spiritual cleansing. Purity is a deep cleaning if you will. It involves the deep recesses of your heart and mind. It includes the hidden motives of your heart. It includes the secret thoughts in your mind. You have to look in the mirror for a long time! You have to be brutally honest. You have to give God all access to everything. But if we make purity our goal, God will do wonderful things! That is the Biblical pattern.

By the way, that probably means we'll go through some painful things. Purifying always involves some fire. But God redeems our pain and uses it for His gain! And it's the painful things that makes the wonderful things so wonderful

I came across this post as I was preparing one of my last messages for 2nd Mile at Highland, and I talked about it then but it has really not left my thoughts since then.
We talk all the time about what God can do and that He has a plan for us, etc. But so often I think we (or at least I) act like we are somehow spectators to the whole thing. I mean, I firmly believe that we can't do much of anything without God, but it seems to me the whole point of all of this is that God has chosen to do this (His 'plan') WITH us.
So we have a part to play in it and I think it starts with this idea of purity. It makes sense, God wants to do amazing things in us, through us and for us but we have to allow that to happen. We have to open ourselves up to God and while God does the heavy lifting, we have to focus on making ourselves 'usable' by God.
If our lives are full of things that run counter to God and his will, how much room have we left God to work? If we have put all sorts of things on our list of priorities before God (like work, money, power, influence - even good things like family and friends) how can we expect God to transform us and use us to do great and wonderful things.
This is what I have been trying to focus on - the work of purifying myself so that God might use me to do the amazing, wonderful and great things that he has had set aside for me from the beginning of the world. In the midst of all my fear and anxiety about these new things God is calling us into, I really do trust that if I focus on that, God will handle the rest. And the really amazing part is that we can't even do the purity bit by ourselves - that is the Holy Spirit working in us and through us.
So anyway, thats where I am. Back to work.

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