“Shaped by God”

My Project 83-001

We are now two days into our New Year.  This is a time when people feel a release of the old year falling away and with that, newness springs to the foreground declaring better for the year to come.  Here in America there are two prominent items on almost everyone’s list that receive the most attention for declaration of newness in the year to come: bodily exercise and organization.  Throughout all the holiday festivities and the preparing of the celebrations those things have been packed away in a small corner of the mind and forgotten about.

Think about it.  We have all of these holiday celebrations back to back that have strong emphasis on food (as if we needed a reason to put emphasis on it).  Then, think about all the hustle and hubbub of making sure every detail falls into place.  As a matter of fact, let’s roll the clock back a little further to the time of school going back into session.  From then on it seems one rushes through the whole fall season and winter celebrations – eating, and because of all the rushing, becoming all the more disorganized.

So, the New Year has arrived and we’ve made it through, but left in its wake is all the clutter, chaos, and extras that we have either packed on or let go of.  It is at this very point one resolves that it has to be better than this.  “I can’t take this anymore!  I have to do something about it.”

Unfortunately, for any positive change to take place there has to be a yielding first.  Uh oh, that’s where those resolutions and declarations begin to crumble.  Soon they will be packed away and not thought of again until we are in the hustle and bustle of the next holiday season.  Why?  Because many want the results that those resolutions can produce without the giving up of stuff that causes those resolutions to crumble.

The same is true with our walk with God.  God wants to take us into His loving hands and fit us for His kingdom.  What that means is that God has a great victory for us but for us to reap the rewards of it we have to let Him have His way in our lives.

I was watching one of the food channels on TV one day.  They went behind the scenes to see how various foods and snacks are made.  One of the snacks they reviewed was taffy.  Have you ever seen taffy being made?  After mixing the sugar and ingredients together there is this big blob of sweet goodness left.  This blob is then fed into this funky looking machine with weird arms that turn this way and that.  Then, those arms pull and pull and pull some more until the blob has thinned out to be used as something else.  From this state it can take on various sizes, shapes and molds, but not without being pulled first.  The taffy blob had to yield to those mechanical arms so that the arms could design it to be what it needed to be.

That’s what God wants us to do.  As uncomfortable as it may seem some of the time, He wants us to yield to the work He is trying to do in our lives.  He’s pulling and stretching, but also shaping us into the man and woman of God that He wants us to be.  Why would He do that? So, we would be of good use to His kingdom and His kingdom purposes here on earth.  Instead of mechanical arms He uses His loving hands to make us over.

Unlike those resolutions we make that work on the outside of man – to make it look better and more organized – we need to resolve to let God have His way and fit us on the inside.  To allow Him improve the structure of the inner man.  When God created you and me, He knew already where He wanted us to be in life.  He knows our beginning from the end.  He has a plan to get us from point A to point B.  Our job is to let Him perfect the process in us.  Resolve to yield and let Him shape you from the inside out.

I do not speak against getting fit and in shape.  Oh, boy, is it necessary “but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come,” (1 Tim. 4:8).  When we let God make us over, we are not only in shape physically for this world, but also spiritually for “that which is to come.”  I, for one, don’t mind being blessed on both sides.  What about you?  Do you mind being blessed on both sides?  Then, as the clay in the potter’s hands let God shape you today.

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