Earlier today I was reflecting on some of the unlikely ways God conforms us to the image of His dear Son — and some of the unlikely tools He chooses to use to work that conformation in us (and maybe even through us from time to time). I asked my dear mother in law if she’d send me the quotes she was sharing with me as we talked about God’s work in our lives — I’ll share them with you when she sends them.
I’ve been sincerely amazed at the ways God works His will and His purposes in my life / in our lives. It seems the most impossible, difficult and maybe even painful situations are the ones that bring the richest, choicest fruit in our lives. But they are, indeed, the situations or incidents we’d most likely attempt to avoid (or choose differently) or reject. But God doesn’t choose differently, when He works a work or plans to work a work, He has very precise purposes for the things He allows to happen in our lives — even, and not surprisingly, our most foolish or careless decisions can be used to bear rich fruit for our good and His glory.
It’s a good thing we don’t choose the tools of our training or the methods of our sanctification — well, I’m thinking if we did/could/do attempt to choose them, our attempts would/do fail to accomplish His purposes. First, we’d reject the tools and then we’d reject the method — thinking and reasoning that our method and our tools would be
easier better wiser. Our ways always seem at the time: mo bettah. A fool is wise in his own eyes…
Today I was thinking of the ways the Lord has taught me to love my children in the way He loves them. For it was easy to love them in the way I could love them. But along the way, He’s allowed situations to occur to teach me to love them in His way. He’s allowed situations to occur or come to pass that would mold me or are molding me into the woman He’s created me to be. The Lord has sought to use tools I wouldn’t have chosen — actually can’t choose to use. And yet, in His mercy and in His kindness He is working that I might be conformed to His image. He’s also lavished grace on me (and them!) that I continually can be used in their lives, that I can continually grow and adapt as the mother they need me to be — doing what HE would have rather than what I might choose or neglect to choose to do. And by His grace, He enables me to press on in faith that He who has begun a good work in me will complete it…
He seeks to conform us to love, to be forbearing, to be kind, to be patient, to be peaceful/peaceable, to be gentle, to be temperate and so on. All of these qualities are the fruit of the Spirit – and we all desire to have these characterize our lives -but they’re not the fruit of self, they’re the fruit of the Spirit and they’re not planted, cultivated or increased by the flesh — again, they’re of and by the Spirit of God.
So as I was seeking answers/fruit in some different areas, it seemed to hit me today like a ton of bricks… the answers I’m seeking — the fruit I’m desiring — is not [going to be] my doing! It’s God’s doing! It’s God’s work: in His timing, by His will in His way. And so as I was seeing the dawning of His work in some specific areas, I began to see this truth: God chooses the fruit and He chooses the tools He uses to bring it about. I want to be so yielded to Him that I will not resist the methods of His choosing and the tools He uses as He works His marvelous will in my life.