From Stone to Flesh

I was talking to one of my best friends and it was some of the best conversations I've had over the phone in a while. Partly because of the hysterical laughs recounting college and being silly, and the other because we were witnessing the sanctifying work of Christ manifesting in our lives. Through trials, in mistakes, in our confessing and asking for forgiveness, we marveled at God that we weren't where we were just a year ago. 

I think it's accurate to say that we all don't want to be stuck doing the same things, stagnant in our old ways of doing and thinking. We desire to be evolving people who want to grow and mature. Which is awesome. However, what if we are doing that outside of the power of God working in our lives? Without the Holy Spirit of God exposing our heart in ways we didn't even know where there? Can we all agree we have blind spots, and parts of ourselves we either don't know are there, or want to deny are present? 

This past year has been so wrecking because the Lord has revealed a lot of icky stuff in me that I was in denial of, and didn't know was in my heart. One of those things being the kind of friend I've been. What it means to, "...Not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another...Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." -Galatians 5:26, 6:2. 

We hear all the time, "Follow your heart," but our hearts lead us astray into thinking that there is a way that seems right to us, but in the end leads to death (Proverbs 14:12). "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? 'I the LORD search the heart and test the mind to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds." - Jeremiah 17:9-10. Outside of a relationship with God the Father searching, transforming and healing our hearts, it leads us deceitfully. What's so beautiful about God is that when we fear Him (revere Him as all powerful, all knowing, everywhere at once), it's the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7). When we come to know the God of the universe intimately, aware that sin fractured God's beautiful design and in our own strength we don't act and think rightly, His kindness towards us leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). He leads us into abundant life. He is for our joy and His glory, regardless of what anyone has said. God gets the glory as He progressively makes us new little by little as we no longer talk the way we used to. We no longer act the way we used to act and our thinking becomes renewed. 

This process is a lot slower than I'd like it to be lol. I'm stubborn in many ways, but it's nothing that a Holy God cannot break down. So I praise God that I have a long way to go, but I'm not in this fight alone. Getting into community, a close group of friends who can give encouragement, pray for you, listen, serve, love, and lead you back to Christ if you start to drift is so necessary. Through all the glorious and hard pressed times of life, we can rejoice together and proclaim that God is doing a good work in us. From one degree of glory to the next. 

I love you,

Zu