Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Project: Application

Many people say they believe, but I can't help but wonder: Is everyone who claims to believe that Jesus is the Christ really going to heaven?

The Bible is clear that many will will proclaim to know Him yet very few actually do. In my own life, I struggle to apply the things He teaches me. My flesh puts up a mighty good fight and I must sadly admit that the flesh wins a lot more than it should. But at the same time, I have no question in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and came to set me free from the binds of sin. It seems to me that learning about Christ is the easy part. Applying it is a whole other story.

I pray and I read and I ask for wisdom. But then He shows me significant things and I stand there helplessly struggling to apply it. It reminds me of the first time in my own life that I was given makeup. I stood there wondering, "So, how do I apply this stuff?" Say what you will but finding knowledge is only half the quest. It's when you've learned to apply that knowledge to your own life situations that you become wise and hold great understanding. Frankly, not many people really have true wisdom and the mark of proof is in our lives.

Non-Christians and Christians alike look at those of us who are outspoken about our faith and they wonder why they should bother following Him at all. They see our shortcomings, because we have many. They see our faith and they wonder what is different about us if our faith in the man who is the Son of God doesn't make us perfect. It doesn't make sense to the person who hasn't been broken. It's nonsense to the one who hasn't seen himself in the light of God. Frankly we can't blame them. We grow frustrated with our own selves because we know the truth yet cannot even master the process of application.

I've struggled with this a lot lately. I've learned a lot in the past few months, but at times it seems I'm only seeing more and more ugly in myself instead of improvement. I beat myself up over it because I wholehearedly want to honor our great God who has delivered me over and over. I want people to see his miracles in me and I want them to know how much He loves us to care for us when we frankly do nothing to warrant it.

But in the end, it's not about's about Him. It's not whether I ever master His teachings perfectly, but whether I persist in asking Him to change my heart because only a heart change can make us new. A heart change is a process, not an out-patient procedure. As Joanna Weaver said, "It takes a process to make a product."  The process requires that we fight to the end and never give up.
But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:13 ESV
Those words ring in my heart like church bells. When I read them, I wondered why they stuck in my head. I felt the need to read them over and over. But now I realize that He's been telling me all along to keep seeking, praying and thirsting. It's not whether we get it all right in this life, but whether we've endured 'til the end, and whether we've done so with faith in His abilities, not our own. Faith leads to a heart change and a heart change leads to obedience. Never make the mistake of thinking that our obedience is of our own doing.

He is faithful to those who love Him, and no matter how hard it gets--He is right there next to us. I pray that you will be fight the good fight and be faithful enough to endure 'til the end by seeking, thirsting and praying because only Jesus Christ can satisfy the needs of our souls. I hope you'll pray the same for me...

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