Monday, November 15, 2010

Commitments & Action

I’ve been slowly making my way through Purpose Driven Life (I started it in January but took 8 months off after Audrey was born :)) But as usual, the Lord has perfect timing, however unorganized it may seem, and He has been using this book to really speak to me, now, right where I am at, confirming a number of things He has already laid on my heart.

I just started the section called “Becoming Like Christ”.

Today' (Chapter 23) was on “How We Grow” and I read this:

Nothing shapes your life more than the commitments you choose to make…. Many are afraid to commit to anything and just drift through life. Others make half-hearted commitments to competing values, which leads to frustration and mediocrity. Others make a full commitment to worldly goals, such as becoming wealthy or famous, and end up disappointed and bitter. Every choice has eternal consequences, so you have better choose wisely.

So what is it that you are committed to?

Most of us have the best of intentions and have committed ourselves to good-intentioned, but worldly goals and desires. In my life God has been working on up-rooting some areas and ideas, and even thought processes that I have committed to that have managed to get in they way and distract me from the commitments HE wants me to have.

It’s been a painful process but He is beginning to prune back the branches and I am seeing new commitments, and new sprouts beginning to take their place.

Warren used Philippians 2:12-13 to further explain his thought which says “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both will and to work for his good pleasure.”

Notice, that there are two parts to this verse. “our part” and “God’s part”. Warren is quick to clarify that this verse is not about “how to be saved but how to grow. It does not say work for your salvation…” It says work out – like you work out your physical body to keep it in shape and make it stronger (this is not the same thing as getting a body). It involves setting a goal, making time and using energy to achieve that goal.

Change first takes place in our mind and thoughts, this we know. Without this change in our hearts and mind, by and through Christ alone, our actions and deeds are pointless. But just a change in our heart and mind is not enough either. They work hand-in-hand. As God begins to transform us, and penetrate our hearts and lives with His Word and Holy Spirit, our actions need to begin to align with what it is we believe.

So the question begs to be asked, how are you working out your salvation? What do your commitments reveal to you as far as where your heart is? What actions are you taking, with fear and trembling to put what you know into action?

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