Tuesday, April 21, 2009

From Being to Doing

2 Thessalonians 1:11 (New International Version)
11With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.

Purity + Power + Promptings = Purposes fulfilled

Three keys shimmer in this verse, like small gems set in a larger piece. They might easily be overlooked, unless one peered closely at the finer detail.

To be counted worthy of his calling...Could we ever be? Our worthiness is in Christ's standing in our place before God and our acceptance of that gift. Not only must he stand in our place though, but he must be given room and right within us: to live his life, in and through us--to transform our broken, wounded selves; to gently heal and straighten crooked pathways.

Yes, Lord, I want to "be counted worthy," but all of it, I know, must be your doing, in response to an open, waiting and yielded, heart.

And, oh, that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose. I am full of good purposes unfulfilled. How I long to break the cycle of efforts sidelined by distractions. Dear Lord, I need the power spoken of here; your power, flowing in and through my good purposes.

And from the character of Christ in me, and his power infusing my purposes, I pray that the actions prompted and guided by my faith, will then be fulfilled--accomplished--realized!

The path is so clearly traced in this verse. Actions are to flow from who we are in Christ, and by his power, from "being" to "doing." The usual topsy turvy process is upside down. How I love to plunge into action and busyness. How hard it is to pause and let him saturate me with his presence and power. How fruitless are the efforts that flow from that method. How hopeful I am that I may yet reverse my natural bent.

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