This evening we were blessed to share our testimonies and God’s work in Spain with 25 junior high and high school students. As I sat in front of those kids, I said, “I’m struggling to know which of all the words I want to say are the ones God wants me to share.” This week as I prayed for our meetings, I felt overwhelmed by a desire to see kids give their lives to serve Christ in missions, but I didn’t know quite how to get that across.
So I just told my story. We had sung a song about entering the homes of the broken, and I shared openly what kind of broken family I came from and how I struggled as a teen with my background. As I shared my testimony of God entering my broken home, and how my life was slowly changed so that I could come to a point where I was willing to serve Him with my whole self (the theme of another song we sang), I prayed that just one student was influenced to consider how God might use him or her, and willing to let Him.
I am proud (as in shout from the rooftops proud, not prideful) of that transformation in my life. I’m grateful for it, for it secured my place in eternity with the One who loves me enough to die for me. That is enough, isn’t it?
But the Lord also looks for great, constant change in the lives of His children. In Christianese, we call it sanctification. Being made more holy. And while that change will never cease, what sanctification I have received already is certainly preparation for the mission field. Any of the qualities I have gained that make me more like Jesus, by the grace of God, are useful to Him!
This is sobering to me. The more I want to be used by Him (and oh, how I want to), the He must teach me. And how does He teach?
Do I really want that? Because it will be hard. God is a consuming fire, and He refines us like gold. (that’s in the fire, in case you didn’t know).
Earlier tonight I had too many words for the message I wanted to share. Now, I am not sure I can put into words a gift God gave me through conversation with a waiting parent. I am still processing her words, but two sacred words come to mind: renewed and transformed.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)