4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it stands in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
7 So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”
“A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.”
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
Change is Your will for us.
Change is the need we face.
Change is what You promise.
You are making us into something. You are building, shaping, and forming us into that which we do not yet see fully or completely. This changing, this building, this shaping requires constant work. One day, you will complete the work. But here; but now, we are still in process.
Our problem? My problem? Being too easily satisfied. There is one thing in which we must exercise a holy dissatisfaction; Our spiritual growth.
I was challenged by these words this morning.
“We’re all too satisfied. We’re all too satisfied with who we are, where we are, and what we’re doing. We’re satisfied with a little bit of biblical literacy. We’re satisfied with occasional moments of ministry . We’re satisfied with manageable debt that allows us to put a few coins in the plate. We’re satisfied that we’ve been married for a while and it doesn’t look as if we’ll break up soon. We’re satisfied with a bit of a grasp on theology of Scripture. We’re satisfied with faithful attendance at weekend services of our churches. We’re satisfied with quick morning devotions. We’re satisfied with a little ministry experience. We’re satisfied that we don’t act out most of our lust and we don’t communicate most of our envy. We’re satisfied that in our disappointment with God, we don’t walk away. We’re satisfied that we can harness a good bit of our fear of man. We’re satisfied to use most of our material resources to make and keep ourselves comfortable. We’re satisfied to be mere consumers of the word of the church rather than committed participants in it. We’re satisfied with hearts that occasionally wander and with thoughts that contradict what the Bible says is good and true. We’re satisfied with the amount of conflict we have in our lives. We’re satisfied.” (Paul Tripp)
You are not. Abba, you are not satisfied. You continue to hone, chip, shape, and work until we reflect Your Son, Jesus. You are not satisfied. So why are we?
Abba, it hurts. This reshaping. It hurts. But oh the end…the goal…the final product! How beautiful and glorious it will be!
We become to easily satisfied, Abba, because the process hurts and we want the hurting to stop. Give us an appreciation of the pain and the process. May we see in it the benefit and purpose and find joy there in.
We become too easily satisfied because we are looking to the wrong object for comparison. Sure, when we look at other members of this sinful, fallen creation around us, we may not appear that bad. But, Abba, that is not the standard. Jesus is. And next to Him….well, yeah. We don’t compare. Not even close.
We become too easily satisfied because we fail to understand holiness and the standard of it. We come to expect and be comfortable with a little sin, a little fallenness. We come to tolerate what should be unacceptable. May we be appalled at such acceptance and grieve deeply over it.
We become to easily satisfied because we fail to remember the cost. My new life was acquired at the cost of another. My debt erased through the payment of Jesus blood. My redemption secured through suffering and agony more unbearable than I can possibly understand. Protect me, protect us from forgetfulness, from being unmindful of the cost.
Abba, may I, may we be as dissatisfied as You. Grant to us a longing for Your Word; a longing for you. May we glimpse that which you are building and even from that glimpse, be filled with a passion and awe at what you are creating. May we surrender to the beauty and glory of that plan.
May we also recognize that You provide in Yourself what is needed for that change. It is You who work in us BOTH to will and work for Your good pleasure. We are not excepted to “pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps.” No, You have given us Yourself to accomplish the work you are doing. Grant us hearts of humility, repentance, faith, and submission. May we be willing and moldable vessels, welcoming and inviting the shaping touch of Your hands, embracing every necessary caress or strike in order that we might realize the end result and bask in wonder at Your skill and being for shaping something so glorious.
Give us eyes to see and hearts to trust completely and surrender fully to the work of change you are doing in our Iives.
We love you.