Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Closer

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

                        Philippians 1.6

Our Life Partner

God isn’t a quitter. When He creates each of us, He begins with a unique design to achieve certain intentions. He sends us into the world as beings made to His exact specifications and He places us exactly where He needs us. Then He lets us decide whether we want to follow His Will or live by our wits.

When we gather the gumption to admit our way leaves much to be desired, we wisely yield to His original plan. We take Him as our Life Partner. We study His Word to increase our insights about how He works and what pleases Him. We maintain constant contact with Him through prayer and meditation. We trust His judgment in all things, relying on faith to shore up our confidence when things start to look dicey. Maybe we can’t see what He’s up to, but we refuse to doubt that He’s up to something. And we’re sure what that is will eventually become obvious, because our God always finishes what He starts.

The Potter’s House

He’s a Master Craftsman with all the time in the world to complete His projects. He sets His own deadlines and works on His own schedule. He builds enough time into His plan to avoid compromising shortcuts. He assembles the tools and materials He needs to guarantee the quality of His work meets His highest standards. Once we hand Him the raw makings of our lives, He gets busy.

This analogy gives rise to numerous metaphors—sculptor, architect, metalworker, and so on. In Jeremiah 18, we find a marvelous parallel in the potter’s house. At God’s urging, Jeremiah went to observe the potter in action. “But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands,” Jeremiah reports. “So he formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.”

Shaped for Things to Come

God begins a good work in us first by undoing what we’ve done. We shape our lives according to what Carly Simon called “the way I always heard it should be”—in other words, expectations based on what we’re taught and human precedent. All of that is irrelevant to God. When we place ourselves in His hands, rather than patch the cracks in our logic and smooth out the flaws in our character, He remolds us into vessels He can use. We’re shaped for things to come. The process can sometimes be uncomfortable, even painful. But He never casts us aside as too unwieldy or inferior for His purpose. When God began His work in us, He fully meant to complete it. He’s more than The Big Idea Guy. He’s The Closer.


What we'll become may not be apparent as God reshapes our lives, but He has a unique design for each of us and He always finishes what He starts.

(Tomorrow: Laugh All You Like)

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