In pondering the miraculous things that God has done over the centuries, my first thought leads me towards my own actions in the Christian life. Looking back, I evaluate what I have done, where I have been and if I have contributed in any small way to the things that He has accomplished. Looking ahead, with all my plans and strategies, the question becomes what shall I do or what can I do to be most effective in contributing to the cause of Christ around the world. But in the stillness of night, I felt the spirit ask me to reevaluate my thinking. It is not, what shall you do, but rather, who will you be?
“God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.”
Romans 8:29-30 MSG
If I am unwilling to be shaped as the life of His Son, then I am unwilling to be used by Him. It is only as we become like Him that we become truly useful to Him, otherwise, He would only use our actions the same way that He would use the wind or the waves or an unjust ruler who somehow serves His purposes.
Again the refrain that has surfaced time and again in my life only to be buried by the busies: “For my determined purpose is to know Him…
So, who will I be? Will I be a great leader who makes his earthly companions proud? How about a dynamic counselor who through wise words leads others on the best possible paths for their lives. Will I be a writer or speaker of some renown whose words live on when my body is dust?
None of these things reflect who we are really to be. We are to be like Him. We are to reflect the presence of God’s Spirit in our lives:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Galatians 5:22-23 NET
Against such things there is no law… What an uncomplicated life we could live. The weight of decisions set aside for the joy of the presence. Our ministry not tied up in a strategy, but in these fruit spilling over into the lives of others as we pour into our own lives from the unending capacity of our Father.
The Christian life is simple. It is not complicated. We are the ones who make it complicated. So, back to the question, who will I be? This is my choice. No one else can choose what I will be. It is a daily decision, with some detours that I am responsible for. In Christ, in the Body, I will be a child of God. I will live for Him. I will not grow weary, I will allow Him to gloriously complete the good work that He began.