We live in a microwave culture. We want everything NOW! We eat fast food, and get angry when we are stuck behind someone driving the speed limit. Texting and the internet allow us instant communication. And we want instant results when our lives need to change.
I’m working through Enhancing Your Marriage by Judy Rossi right now with a bunch of ladies over the internet. The strange thing about this study is that we are beginning week 4 and still haven’t learned anything about marriage. I was skeptical at first, but as I have taken time to consider my own spiritual life, I’ve realized that my marriage can’t grow much if I don’t change and grow first.
When I see attitudes and character qualities in my life that need to change, I think I should be able to pray a quick prayer and presto – the fruit of the Spirit will be perfectly lived out. I have spent so many years asking God to change my heart and mind without seeing the results I expected.
OK, until the last couple of years, I was trying to change in my strength instead of trusting God to change me. I still clung to my pride and selfishness. I wanted to change some or only in some areas. That just isn’t how God works. He asks for all of our heart and soul and mind and strength.
As I have learned to yield to Him, I have still been frustrated by how easily I fall into old habits. I still want that quick fix. As I read Exodus this week there was a verse that I hadn’t noticed before. (Does that happen to you too? A verse jumps out at you that you have read a hundred times before and never noticed.)
“Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.” (23:30) God was going to remove the inhabitants of the Promised Land, but not all at once. If He did, wild animals would have taken over much of the territory. If God worked little by little, the population of the Israelites would increase so they could inhabit all of it.
The same is true of our spiritual lives. If God revealed everything that needed to change at once, we would be overwhelmed and give up. So God works like a sculptor, patiently chipping away at a piece of marble until a masterpiece is revealed. When I look back over the last couple of years, I see how I have changed and grown. No, I am not where I think I should be, but I’m not the person I was either. God continues to work. “He says trust me. If I brought you into this, I’m going to bring you through it. JUST DO AS I COMMAND AND WATCH ME REVEAL MYSELF.” (Judy Rossi)
So I will give God my life and my obedience and will trust Him to change me in His time.