“I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:4-9
After a long night filled with tying up lots of loose ends, I passed by one of my flip calendars and turned the page since it was already 1am and I was hungry to hear from God's word for just a bit of refreshment for my soul that was feeling very much spent. The words that met me were from 1 Corinthians 1:8 “...our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”, and it struck me in my weary state that this was a promise I needed to ask the Lord to fulfill in my life. You see I have seen my heart wane in and out in my devotion to the Lord because of the testing the Lord has brought into my life in the past to reveal things in my heart that needed to be disposed of – those sinful tendencies and less then stellar character traits I was blinded from seeing because my sinful nature had grown accustomed to them.
As I quickly thought back to the many ways God has tested my faith and shown me the things within my heart that needed to be refined, I knew they were for the best that God was doing these things. And yet, looking back I now also realize how vulnerable I was during those times of testing. Vulnerable within my heart into desiring to follow an easier path than I was being asked to walk by my Lord and Savior – one that did not look as difficult and painful as the path I saw laid out before me.
This paradox of refinement of our souls against our need to hold strong to what we believe in about God, work in tandem with one another I believe to prepare us for the second coming of Jesus. God wants to prepare us for this day, yet in order to do so He must take us to the limits of our faith so we can see those things within us that would make our meeting Him more painful and difficult instead of more glorious and joyful. Yet, when those tough times come into our lives it is hard to trust in God that He will not allow our testing to go so far as to crush us and leave us in a wanton state when the day finally is upon us.
But in thinking over these things I realized that God offers us another promise in His word that answers this fear as He states:
God is working day by day to prepare us for this special day on His calendar – the coming of Jesus - so that we can stand blameless before Him and enjoy the day as God intends us to. Completion of His good work in us is not a fact we should question if we truly believe in Him and trust in the what He says about that day and about the care He is putting into making us ready for it.
Fear that the next time of testing or trials may be the beginning of the end of my life of faith is not where my mind should be taking me as I purpose my steps with Jesus each day. A life of faith says instead to the Lord, “Wherever you ask me to go, I will go right away trusting in all that you have for me there.” I guess that is why when I came upon this quote from Oswald Chambers this morning I was all the more encouraged in what God had been speaking to my heart about His desire to work within me all He needs to work out in order to make me blameless when the day of judgment finally does arrive.
“The exacting call of Jesus Christ has no margin of good-byes, because good-bye, as it is often used, is pagan, not Christian. When once the call of God comes, begin to go and never stop going.” Oswald Chambers
The life of a soul convicted to walk forward with Jesus and not stop until the end has been reached is a life that may be uncertain here on this earth and one that will wane back and forth in many heart matters. But, staying strong in the promises of the Lord so He can work within us the gain of godly character and the refinement of our souls is the key to allowing that walk to bring us one day before our Savior in a state of blamelessness. Our obedience in following the path of grace He has offered each of us, and which eventually will lead each and every believer to the culmination of the grace He paid on the cross, is the path my soul yearns to stay on.
Every day we take steps of faith, and as Ephesians 5 states, we need to be careful where each foot falls as we walk to make sure where we are going is toward that blameless state the Lord has prepared for us within His will.
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17