Her words reminded me of Colossians 1:27: "To them [the saints] God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
The hope of glory. In ourselves, we have no hope of glory. That's why, in Kimi's words, our efforts to BE like Jesus only lead to pride or frustration. We cannot simply choose to BE like Jesus. We aren't like Jesus. Still, we strive and we stress and we think that if we just try harder, maybe next time we will get it right. We ask God what He wants us to DO, and what does He say?
"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in Him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." ~John 15:5
abide--to remain, continue, stay with, dwell
Abide in Him. Him in me. Hmm...
Christ in me. The hope of glory.
Last night I decided to re-listen to one of my favorite sermons by my pastor from home (David Platt, The Church at Brook Hills). I remembered that at the time, this message had given me a different perspective on Biblical decision-making, but I had forgotten most of the major points. As I listened, I realized he was talking about the exact same thing that Kimi had mentioned earlier. (Imagine that, right?) In the sermon, David discusses all of the contemporary (and often comical) methods we try to use to determine God's will for our lives. His conclusion? "These methods miss the point of a relationship with God." A few of my favorite quotes:
- God is more passionate about you knowing His will than you are...God desires for me to follow His will so much that He lives in me to accomplish it.
- The will of God is not a roadmap; it is a relationship where Christ overtakes our will to become one with His as we trust in His Word.
- What if our job is not to figure out what God's will is and do it for Him? What if we day by day trust Christ to live in us?
- Knowing God's will is secondary to simply knowing God.
- Experiencing, following the will of God is not a passive journey, where we just sit back and wait for Him to show us something; it's an active journey, we were are constantly taking the will of God that has been revealed to us and walking in it, and obeying it...When you don't know what to do, do what you know to do.
- Quote from Adrian Rogers: "The way to find God's will for the rest of your life is to do God's will for the next 15 minutes."
- David's Constant Prayer: "God, I pray that today, now, you would lead me to the people, places, and positions where I can most effectively make disciples of all nations."
- If I am seeking after Him and saying, "God, I want to follow Your will right here, right now," and doing that, I'm confident that wherever I am five, ten, fifteen, forty years from now, I'll be exactly where God wants me to be. Not because I trust myself but because I trust Christ in me to accomplish what He has created me for.
It all goes back to that, doesn't it? Christ in me. Christ in you.
Sometimes, it feels easier to ask for a roadmap. If I'm really honest, sometimes that's all I want. But I'm starting to learn that when I ask for a roadmap, I miss the relationship. And I'm starting to learn that the relationship is so much better.
If you have time, I would highly encourage you to listen to the rest of David's sermon for yourself. All of his sermons are available free on video or podcast. For the message referenced above, click here, choose between video or audio, and then select "The Disciple's Will" from 10/21/2007.