Gots Spots? Well, I do!

I hope I can explain this clearly....

I found my first red leaf of the fall yesterday. Our sycamores have been dropping yellow leaves, but I constantly look for the red and bright orange leaves that let me know that the cooler days of autumn are finally coming to release us of the humidity and mosquitos of summer.  This red leaf, even with its black spots of decay, grabbed my attention filled me with  the anticipation of breezy, cool autumn days.  

You know, in some ways I  resemble that leaf. I have areas of blackness and decay in my life--not just from aging, but from not yet being conformed to the image of Jesus in all areas of my life. I often try to ignore these dark areas, for these imperfections frustrate and embarrass me. However, I am sometimes so aware of my failures and shortcomings, that I am hesitant to speak of the greatness of God.  I think: How can I speak into this situation when I am so messed up myself?  I wonder if my failings "tarnish" His reputation or His message.

Does the enemy ever reproach you so that you won't share the good news of the Gospel with others?  He often will use condemnation to try to silence believers.

Yet, I sensed that God was using this leaf to teach me a lesson. However imperfect this little red leaf is, its arrival still brought me delight and filled my heart with delighted anticipation of the approaching autumn season. God seemed to whisper, "If I can bring joy to you even through a decaying leaf, don't you think I can use you for My purpose as well--even now?

Trust Me to transform you as you walk in obedience to me.  Keep your focus on Me. If you will walk by faith and not rely on your own thoughts, I will show my glory through you even now, imperfect as you are, and I will wash away your spots so that My glory will shine through you more and more."

So let's be about the Father's business!   Never let the enemy shame you into silence.  We are not to be haughty; we are not to pretend to be more than we are; but let us not cower down, acting as thought we are less.  We are righteous in Christ Jesus, not because of what we have accomplished, but because of what Jesus has done  for us and in us.

As we mature in Jesus, as we go from glory to glory, as we grow spiritually, we can trust God to purify us [and--yes--it can be an unpleasant process sometimes] till we shine forth like pure gold. But He can not steer us, He can not guide us, if we are not willing to take those first steps of faith!

Yes, we need to submit to His transforming, healing power. We must remain humble and allow Him to sift us and to try us. But transformation and growth requires our willingness to move and to go in obedience to His call, even when we are insecure or broken.

It is not by our might, or power anyway. All that we accomplish for the Kingdom that will last must be by HIs Spirit [or will be revealed as a sham]. So, be honest about your weaknessess and exalt the wonders of God's grace and mercy!  Don't let the enemy use shame or any sense of failing or inadequacy to stop you from serving Jesus.

He will not give us more than we can handle.


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