Monday, March 28, 2005

Doctor's Visit

When most of us go to the doctor with an ailment or need some surgery in order to correct a problem, we trust that the doctor knows what he is doing and will submit to whatever treatment he deems appropriate. In the back of our minds, we may have some fear of what may happen to us and doubts about the knowledge and skill of the Doctor. However, these fears and doubts are usually not strong enough to keep us from undergoing the treatment that the doctor has prescribed. We will trust our lives and well being to the hands of someone we barely know in order to be made whole again, in a physical sense.

When we became Christians, we entrusted our spiritual health and well being to the Great Physician. His goal is to conform us to the image of Christ. In order to do that He must place each of us on the “operating table” and, essentially, remove anything from our lives that doesn’t look like Christ. He wishes for each of us to be completely submitted to His will and allow Christ to live His life through us, thus, relinquishing any claims we have to control our own lives. He wants our complete surrender. God “operates” on us by allowing us to go through difficult circumstances and testing. He wants to bring us to the point of having no confidence in our ability to do anything and completely trust and abide in Him (John 15:5).

I was talking with a friend at work the other day about something we read in The Purpose Driven Life on page 84. “When you decide to live a totally surrendered life, that decision will be tested.” He expressed some fear of what that testing could bring into his life. What is there to be fearful of? We have a Father in Heaven that loves us as His children. As Christians, we stand before Him completely righteous and accepted and totally free from condemnation. We have God’s own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, living in our hearts. When we asked Jesus into our hearts, our old self was nailed to the Cross and died with Jesus. Then we arose with Him in newness of life. We were spiritually dead and now we are spiritually alive. We are quite literally, new creations.

Now, as Christians, we still live in the flesh and the sinful patterns that we developed before we accepted Christ are still present. We still do things that we shouldn’t. We still try to do things in our own power instead of allowing God to work in our lives. We try to be self sufficient instead of trusting in the providence of God. While we still live in the flesh, that is no longer “who we are”. We are children of the living God. Everything God allows us to go through is but for one purpose, to conform our lives to “who we are” instead of who we used to be. The fancy church word for that is sanctification.

In order to conform our lives, as mentioned earlier, God must operate on us. Most of us will willingly lie down on a surgeons table and trust our lives to someone who we barely know, who doesn’t love us personally, and is fallible. Yet when God, who loves us more than we know, tries to put us on His operating table we kick and scream and fight for all we are worth. God knows exactly what treatment you need and is completely infallible, yet we will trust a mortal man more than we trust God. Stop fighting and start trusting. When you are going through a difficult time, praise and thank God for He is showing you His immeasurable love and He will be with you every step of the way.

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