Monday, March 02, 2009
What I Was, What I Am, What I Will Be
It is very difficult to summarize one's life, since people are in a constant state of flux - changing phsycially, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually.
Sunday at Church, there was an ordination ceremony for our associate pastor. I have never been to one before and it was encouraging to see this young man and his family being committed before the Lord.
When the charge was given to the pastor, the speaker used 2 Timothy as the Scripture to base the charge. This is Paul's encouraging letter to his protege Timothy.
During the course of the charge, the speaker referred to the meaning of verse 7 - "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." - as Paul looking back and having no regrets about his walk with Christ.
So I started thinking about my past and I have more regrets than I care to list or think about, but I also have the knowledge that I am not the man I was yesterday nor will I be the man I am now, tomorrow.
Recently, I have been under attack by someone whom I hold dear. They are angry with me about actions done many years ago, some before my salvation, some during the years since.
When I first tasted salvation, I did not immediately cease being the old man, who was liar and deciever and manipulator of others. God is growing me in such a way that He is developing my character. I am less the liar and decieve and manipulator, but only because it is the Lord doing this and not my own effort.
I have been forgiven by God of these sins and can now, because of Christ, kneel in His presence, and strive, through Him, to cease the evil that I too often find myself desiring to do. I am redeemed but not yet fully sanctified. I am at war with my sin, my flesh, and, sadly, sometimes it prevails in the battle, though it has failed in the conquest of me.
Unfortunately, this does not absolve me of the fact that I did sin and that I do sin and that I will sin. This means that I still weep over my failings, how I have hurt others, how I have wronged mostly those whom I love and have loved me, how I have misused the gifts given to me.
I go on sinning not because it is my desire to do so, but because I have not yet given myself fully over to Him!
This is a tough reality, but it makes sense of what I was, what I am, and what I will be.
God is working at His pace to shape me back into the image He intended when He created me, and He becomes more (and I less) I am humbled that He would even want to work in a scoundrel such as me, that He would call me His child when I have been such a disobedient brat, that He would call me friend when I have been such an enemy of His!
Christians are not void of sin, but we are free from the deciet of sin. True Christians know what they were, what they are, and what they will be and they know that they are in the hands of God and not their own hands.
In this, I have no regrets - that God has saved me from my self, and my hope is in Him.