I believe many Christians will admit that they are not satisfied with their current relationship with Christ. Perhaps they are struggling morally in one or more areas in their life, and they can’t seem to get victory. Or maybe they feel inept to effectively do what they know God has called them to do in the ministry. Maybe they don’t even know exactly what it is. They just know something is missing in their relationship with the Lord.
Does any of that sound like you? If it does, be encouraged. God is not finished with you yet. Listen to what the Lord inspired Paul the apostle to say about this: “Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Let’s look at three key words in this verse:
The first word is confident. We must know without a shadow of a doubt that God continues to work in our lives. Have you ever heard a Christian who has a bad temper try to justify his outbursts of rage? He may say, “I can’t help it; God made me this way.” But it’s not the will of God for His children to go about erupting into anger. We must pray for victory in that area. Such prayer for personal change must be undergirded by confidence that it is the will of God to continuously change us into the image of Christ.
The second word is begun. The good work the Lord has begun in us is salvation. This experience does not denote spiritual maturity. In fact, when we first got saved we didn’t act much differently than we did before we met Christ. That’s because we were babes in Christ. Not knowing what to do, we did what we knew. Through salvation, however, the Lord has provided us everything we need to become the champion He wants us to ultimately become.
The third word is perform. I quoted Paul’s words from the King James Version of the Bible. The word “perform” from this verse means to “bring to completion.” You see, God wants to complete the good work He has begun in us. He won’t be finished with us until the very end of our journey here. Thanks to the Lord’s salvation in our lives, we are no longer what we used to be. Because of His progressive work in our lives, neither are we yet what we are destined to become!
Some believers have promoted this false idea that when a person becomes born again he nearly walks on water. Some unbelievers who want to accept Christ may feel intimidated because they have been given this misconception that being a Christian denotes perfection. We may not make statements that bluntly. But when someone fails we may comment, “I know he said he was a Christian, but he must not be if he did something like that.” Well, friend, sometimes Christians do non-Christianlike things.
Perhaps as you read this article you are not where you want to be in Christ. You may even wonder how you will ever reach spiritual maturity, based on where you currently are, and where you desire to be. But believe me, the Lord is not finished with you yet.
God deals with each of us differently for a number of reasons. You may be struggling in an area that you have been battling for the past decade. Yet you know of new converts who had the same problem and God instantaneously delivered them at salvation. That seems so unfair, right? Your take is as good as mine as to why it happens that way. For example, I know believers who have been delivered from drugs and alcohol but who can’t seem to leave cigarettes alone. I say never give up. God is not finished with you. Don’t read into your lack of progress in an area of spiritual development that He wants you to remain that way. But pray and seek the face of God, being confident that He has begun a good work in you, and He is committed to finishing that good work in you.
Copyright © 2017 by Frank King. All rights reserved.