For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10
From this portion of scripture, an extremely wise and most precious man taught me,
“God created your person, engineered your genes and spelled out your person in the ABCs of your DNA. Therefore, you are special and unique, planned and designed by the genius of God.”
Sometimes it is hard to remember such a concept. We live in a world that is fallen and the anti-christ spirit that rules it, by its very nature, is designed to discourage and hinder the God’s handiwork (which is you) in its development and expression.
Notice the subtlety found in this verse in the Ephesian letter.
Our value does NOT come from the GOOD WORKS that we DO. Rather, our worth comes from being CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS. After all, it is by GRACE that we are SAVED through FAITH and not by WORKS.
Man, I really wish I could drill that into the heads of brothers and sisters who still falter on their journey because they just don’t seemingly measure up to ……(whatever standard you’d like to insert at this point.)
There was a time in my life where personal presentation, performance and producing were the preferred purpose. You like the alliteration? I learned that in Bible College in preparation for the ministry.
It was in such environments, religious church-ey places and systems, where I exercised such a “P Process” with great vigor and zeal so as to accomplish great things for God. In appearance, it was “succesful” according to worldly religious orders. But in the end, the “P Process” produced PRIDE.
And, we all know what Pride proceeds……………….a fall.
All the things and stuff produced from striving to “do great things for God” and the (false) identity gained from such activities were lost. I was a man most miserable because all of my life seemed to be a waste of time and everything I thought I knew about God evaporated like fog on a clearing day.
That’s about the time that I began to learn what the extremely wise and most precious man began to teach me. Oh, what a difference it has made in my life!
You see Jesus operating according to the mentality described in the opening of this post. The man came and said crazy things like,
“I don’t say anything except I heard the Father say it.”
“I don’t do anything except I’ve seen the Father do it.”
“I don’t come to reveal myself to you. I’ve come to show you the Father.”
That, my dear reader, is the DNA of a Son speaking. He understood where he came from and where his identity originated. It wasn’t in the incredible, astounding works that he performed while on this planet.
No, he was a matured Son, led of the Spirit to walk in the good works that Father had prepared in advance for him to walk in and do.
I am going to let you in on a little secret!
God, who is your Father, not only loves you…………………..He likes you. He knows you better than you know yourself. He likes spending time with you and enjoys your personality and being. He wishes you liked yourself, too.
Granted, we can all be real pieces of work sometimes. Okay, probably a bit more than some times. However, Father isn’t intimidated by it. He likes your humanity and is in the process of redeeming and transforming it. He trusts in Himself to be faithful in completing the work He has started in you. We should learn to trust Him too and r-e-l-a-x just a bit. The biblical term, if you are wanting it, is the rest of God.
On this journey I’ve been on, I’ve discovered that as much as Father reveals Himself to me, He also takes the time to reveal the REAL me to myself. We all live with pre-conceived ideas about ourselves based upon a myriad of reasons and experiences. The majority of those opinions of ourselves are, well, let’s just say, NOT BASED UPON FATHER”S IMAGE and LIKENESS. They are, unfortunately, based upon our time spent in the fallen realm and, more unfortunately, we have accepted them hook, line and sinker.
Per usual, we tend to see ourselves outside of Father’s lens and bring ourselves clearly into focus utilizing our self-centered optics. Father desires you to change the frame. It truly is the reason that He has brought you into a BORN AGAIN experience, given you a seed of HIS NATURE and HIS SPIRIT TO LEAD YOU. He knows what HE thinks of you. He desperately wants to share them with you. I won’t take the time here to go into it now but you beginning to see yourself as He sees you really is the only way Christ will ever be accurately and fully formed in you.
You’d be surprised the things that would change in your life, the bondages that you’d be set free from and the way your relationships would change if you’d listen to Him and come into agreement regarding His perspective about you.
So, do yourself a favor. Rejoice, celebrate and praise God for what He has done, is doing and will continue to do. YOU!!
Keep your peace!