“And God said… And it was so.” (Genesis 1)
“Jesus said to (the blind man), ‘Go your way; your faith has made you well.’ And immediately he received his sight…” (from Mark 10:52)
At the risk of estranging a few of you, I want to address an issue that seems to permeate through most Christians’ thinking. I believe it is a self-inflicted barrier that prevents so many Christians from walking in the fullness of what God has provided for His people. It even effects how we perceive God – and profoundly effects our identity, as God’s people…
It is a message we have received, and believed… largely, without question…
Just recently, I was listening to the radio, and a song proudly proclaimed this message: “I am unfinished!.. God is still working on me.”
We also see this message in the ever-popular T-shirt/bumper sticker: “Be patient with me, God is not finished with me yet!”
It is a common Christian perception that God is constantly working on each of us to change us, transform us, and refine us into the people He wants us to be. We are a mess – and He is lovingly working to fix us up – so we can be the kind of people that He desires.
We have all heard this message before. It goes something like this: “We are like chunks of ugly granite and God is constantly chipping away at all our unseemly (and unnecessary parts) until we become the masterpiece of His handiwork (who knows how long that will take… probably our whole lives).”
What I find interesting is that this manner of thinking doesn’t seem to line up with the God of Scripture. God has not revealed Himself as a God of gradual processes.
He has revealed Himself as a God of immediacy. He speaks. Things happen. He acts. Things change dramatically. Without delay, without hesitation.
In the creation of all things, this fact just jumps out at you. I don’t believe for a moment that God spoke and set processes in motion to cause things to evolve over time. If that were the case, God would have told us so. He gives every impression that He works with one pattern in mind: He has a thought. He speaks a word. His thought becomes an immediate reality.
This observation is verified in our Lord Jesus. Everywhere He went, people were healed or delivered or raised from the dead… immediately! You never see Jesus telling someone to come back over a period of time to receive more and more healing. Everything He did was in the now. Immediately. As an act of divine power through Him. The God of immediacy, doing things powerfully, abruptly… immediately.
This is really good news for us as well. When we talk about things like the “new you” or a new identity, we are talking about something that is available to us in it’s fullness, right NOW! God is not constantly working on us, or fixing us over years and years of time – He has already done all the work needed to bring us into the fullness of what He has for us.
Jesus put it this way… “It is finished!”
We just have to apply His amazing handiwork to our lives, by faith.
By faith, each of us can live each and every moment of our lives in the fullness of what His immediate work has secured for us. You know, all the things we have been talking about. A new life. A new you. A new identity. Not transferred through time, or formed in us gradually through the ages – but ours to have and hold right now!
So where do we get this idea of God’s gradual work in our lives? We will talk about that in tomorrow’s post…
Prayer focus: God, forgive me for those times I have lived far beneath Your provision for me… and grant me a revelation of how you have completed me, through the work of Jesus!