3-4You didn't think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he's such a nice God, he'd let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he's not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.
An amazing truth about God is how immensely patient he is with his children. He gives us space - to make our own choices. He gives us time - to come to our own conclusions. He gives us these things because he knows that in order to have our heart, he must have it yielded willingly. God is infinitely patient in his waiting for us to turn from our sin - but he will not wait forever. Sometimes, he gives us gentle nudges to cause us to see our sin. When he does, remember that it is out of his immense love for us that he has done so.
We often want to take the "focus" off of us by putting it on someone else - pointing out their faults. It is like we believe that by pointing out the other person's faults, no one will ever see ours, including God! Silly us! In fact, look at what another criticizes in another on a frequent basis and you will usually have a good idea of what the one doing the criticizing is struggling with, too!
Look at this passage again - it is not a subtle walk with God that we are called to live out. It is a "radical" life-change. These three words say it all!
- Radical - getting at the root of things. This word carries the idea of getting at the fundamental stuff - what's really at the core of our being. When God goes for the "root", he is expecting something to be extremely different in the end. The "root" of something gives it both its stability and its system for being nurtured. If the "root" is wrong - the fruit will be, as well.
- Life - looking at what is produced. This word carries the idea of growth - th ability to adapt when moved upon by a force greater than ourselves. God focuses on the root because he hopes to affect the fruit. He is concerned with our growth. His desire is that we no longer "adapt" to the world around us, but that we "adapt" to his will, his direction, and his love for us. In so doing, he really is "transplanting" us from infertile, diseased soil into the nutrient rich soil of his grace. There is no better place to take root.
- Change - moving from what we were to what we would become if we were left to our own devices. God is not as concerned about what we have the "ability" to do as in helping us realize that ability in him. His greatest goal is to make our "form" or "nature" just like his son's. To do this, he removes the covering we place over our sin in an attempt to hide it from him and others. In so doing, the exposure allows him to transform what has been hidden into something that can actually be a display of his grace.
So, it is to this radical life-change that God calls us today. It is easier to cover up our sin than it is to face it - but no amount of cover-up will change what is produced. The "cover-up" is over! It is time to allow the Lord to see the "true" you! He has something divine he desires to produce...let him at it!