walk in the word
Last week in the Weekly Walk I pointed out there can be no true commitment to personal life change without a willingness to get specific. You must allow God to point out both the specific sins that have to go and the specific good things that need to be added to your life. As long as you take refuge in the land of generalities, you will never experience the transforming power of the gospel.
Maybe you’re saying, “James, I’m tracking with you, but I could use some practical help? What do I need to do to get specific about life transformation?” I’m glad you asked! Here’s the first step: Ask God for wisdom to know exactly what He wants to change in you. God is the Architect. He is the Contractor and the Coworker in all personal change. We cannot begin without His blueprint in hand—His specific wisdom on where to go to work.
One of the primary ways that God shows us what He wants to change in us is through the use of trials. Take a look at these words from book of James:
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind (James 1:2-6).
God permits trials of all shapes and sizes to come into your life in order to produce “staying power” in you. Staying power is the ability to stick with it in difficult times—no matter what—and it is the funnel through which all Christian virtue flows. There is nothing good that God brings into your life by way of transformation that He doesn’t bring through the funnel of perseverance. If God can get that characteristic into your life, He can truly make you what He wants you to be.
God wants very much for you to know what He’s working on in your life, and the passage says that He’s ready to offer wisdom regarding the specifics when you ask. How great is that promise?! God loves you so much that He is willing to give you megawisdom about the specific things that He is trying to change in you. He’s not trying to hide it from you. Just ask Him, “Lord, how do You want to use this trial to produce the righteousness of Christ in me today?”
The key is to “ask in faith without any doubting.” In effect, the doubter says, “There’s part of me, God, that really wants to know why You’ve allowed this trial and really wants to work on the issue needing change. But there’s another part of me that wants to keep some control. Go ahead, Lord, and change whatever you want—but it can’t be this or that. Anything else, I’m wide open—sort of.”
Listen, God will not reveal the specifics about what He is trying to change in you if you are limiting the list from which He can choose. You must be willing to say from your heart, “No restrictions, Lord. Anything in my life, go for it, I’m Yours, period!” When you can make that full surrender, you are truly ready to “get specific.” And best of all, you’re about to experience life transformation that really sticks.
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