Finding My Way, God at Work, Spiritual Growth

Be Thankful for the Working of God

God’s words impact you right in the moment, as you need them to, but they also have a cumulative effect throughout your lifetime as you walk with God. It is important to give the words you receive from Him a place of importance. Write them down in a journal, they will build over time. Go back and reread them, believe that in the words you have received, your life is being shaped.

Your response, even if you struggle to understand how the shaping of your life will happen, should be one of faith. It might sound something like this:  

Lord, I accept your direction and plan. I may not understand how to get there from here, but I trust that you are working in me and will get me there.”

The Passion Translation reads in Philippians 2:13, “God will continually revitalize you, implanting within you the passion to do what pleases him.”

That is a promise I can take hold of and be thankful for. It reminds me that it is about trusting the Spirit of God working in me, not me trying to make something happen. When the seed takes root and is ready, the actions will follow.

God shaping our lives is not always an easy process for us, mostly because we fight what He is trying to do in us. There are times we do not want to forgive someone or find ourselves unable to be thankful because we are stuck in a mindset of lack instead of abundance.

Lack of forgiveness holds us captive and resists the work of God. We do not want to forgive mostly because we want someone held accountable for all the wrong that was done to us. Holding on to unforgiveness means that we are not free to experience God’s goodness. We block the very healing power of God from entering our own hearts and setting us free.

Choosing to forgive is an act of faith, that God has something better in store, and allows us to then turn around and pray for the person who deeply hurt us. God loves us and wants the best for us, but He also loves the person who hurt us. If we let go of them and our mistaken belief that we can change them or make them pay for what was done to us, that is when we can invite God into their life through prayer.

God’s ways are different than the world around us and we cannot continue to look at God or ourselves or others through the eyes of this world. We must look at ourselves, God, and others, through the eyes of His truth, especially when the world tells us something that is in direct opposition to the Word.  

If you find yourself constantly speaking negatively about your life, what is missing is the awareness of the gifts that were given to us as believers in Christ. If you are new to the Lord, read the words of the New Testament in the Bible, and look for something to be thankful for. Write down the words and the scripture references as you read. Begin to speak those words out loud, meditate on them for how they impact your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a new way of thinking about something you have struggled with time and time again.

The inability to be thankful is a way of thinking that will change as you spend time in the word, meditate on it, and allow the Holy Spirit to breathe life into the words you are reading, speaking and meditating on.  It feels impossible to fulfill God’s plan for our life if we limit God in the way we think about life. I love Romans 12 but particularly verse 2 of The Passion Translation which says, “Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total transformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in His eyes.”

Lack of thanksgiving and choosing not to offer forgiveness resists the power of God’s work within us. Just as the clay on the potter’s wheel is malleable, we must be the same as we cooperate with the Holy Spirit and He brings to light the things we must let go of or face. The key is that we never do this alone. God is always going before us and standing with us to give us the strength to do all that He asks. He is molding within our hearts the plan and refining the character that needs to take shape as we step up to fulfill His plan for our lives.

I see the Bible as one of the greatest love stories of all time written to mankind. It is a story of our betrayal, God’s forgiveness, acceptance, and the kind of love that says no matter what you have done, I want a relationship with you. The sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ unto a new way of living is a gift that continues to give life to many.

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