“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6
There are times when we wonder how the Lord Jesus is ever going to be able to complete His work in us. When young in the Lord it seems quite reasonable that He will do it but as time passes we realise that the greatest enemy to this completion is ourselves and we seem further behind than ever.
A spiritual war ensues when our will comes into conflict with the will of God. He never pressures us into conforming to His will or obedience. We will either respond willingly or not at all. Grudging obedience is still rebellion. We find many ways of convincing ourselves that we are obedient to the will of God when in fact we are resisting, grieving or quenching the Holy Spirit and hence God’s will for us.
How often have we gotten ourselves into a mess and then asked Him for help to extricate ourselves from it. There are two great errors in this. Firstly, that we are usually in a mess because we didn’t first seek counsel or direction from the Lord. Joshua made the mistake of presuming that the Lord was with him when he went against Ai but he didn’t check. He was soon in a mess and people died. Secondly, in our pride and arrogance we ask the Lord to help us. Think about this. Do we make the agenda or does the Lord? It may be that when we ask the Lord for help we are asking Him to enable us to complete our plans and goals rather than His.
Jesus Christ has His plans for His church and each living stone in it. He is the One who sets the agenda. He knows what He is aiming at and He alone is able to achieve it. When we take the lead it shows that He is not Lord to us. It reveals that we think we know better and can, with a little help from Him when we get in a mess, achieve the goal. Can you see the abomination of this; of the clay dictating to the potter?
As we grow in Christ we know that we have resisted, grieved and quenched the Holy Spirit but now we have come to the place of absolute surrender. As the writer of Hebrews puts it, we enter God’s rest.
“Lord, You lead, You direct, I will follow. Not by my hands and will but by Your hands and might. Show me when I am resisting You and I shall surrender. Show me when I have grieved You and I shall ask forgiveness and mourn over that sin. Show me when I am quenching Your Spirit and I will immediately repent and serve You.”
“Not as I will but as You will”