Have you seen in some family hallways the children’s through-the-years portraits from kindergarten to university? I find it very interesting to see how people mature physically. In our spirit, we also have transformations and markers like that. 2Cor 5:17 says Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
The process is not completed overnight but consists of an incremental work in progress happening one decision at a time, one minute at a time as our will progressively yields to God’s. Oh, how impossible to obey in our own strength. A person’s will is so naturally set on its default setting of having its own way. It is only by God’s grace through his Spirit that we can see how his wisdom can’t be matched. His ways are higher and better. Obedience is the best choice. It may take me and you a long time to get to that obedience decision but we can trust that God’s wisdom is supreme. (We can just remind ourselves that delayed obedience is still disobedience).
Sometimes it will be the trials we go through that speed up our growth, the refiner’s fire that makes the impurities rise to the surface so that the Refiner can skim them from the top. Anne Graham Lotz explained that when gold is being refined, it is the Refiner who is closest by, never leaving. He will continue refining and transforming, removing the impurities until he can see his reflection on the surface. And God is the Refiner who seeks to produce righteousness. Mal 3:2b-3a For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness.
Reading God’s word is a constant stir to the refining process as God uses his word to teach, rebuke, correct, and train us in his ways (2 Tim 3:16-17) that makes us more familiar with his character to work towards. May the new year bring out a more beautiful you and me in God’s eyes.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland (Isa 43:19)