A Deep Work

I have often thought about the deep work the Father does in me in his resolute objective of conforming me to Jesus. This is no small task and it will only be completed when I go to be with Jesus or when Jesus returns. I have concluded, not only by reading the Scriptures but also through my experience, that this deep work is far from pleasant but indispensable to my life with God. It is during this deep work, that the inner motives of the heart are laid bare before me and God wakes me up to the fact that I am in deeper need of his grace, mercy, and help if I am going to move into the fullness he has for me. The same is true for you.

You and I have to resign ourselves to the fact that God takes our sanctification much more seriously than we are. His will for us is our sanctification (1 Thess. 4:3). This is a good thing because I don’t think any of us would make much progress if it were up to us. What we want for ourselves and what God wants for us are many times worlds apart and God knows exactly what is needed for us to progress in holiness and character development. I don’t think we would know where to start if we were in the driving seat.

Paul knows about this deep work all too well. In 2 Corinthian 1:9, Paul recounts the burden Timothy and he endured while proclaiming the Gospel: “Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead”. Through their experience, they came to rely fully on God for their physical deliverance from all sorts of dangers, as they learned how to lean on His support & strength, not their own. Their present experience of God’s faithfulness deepened their conviction of his continual future faithfulness. You see, whatever work the Spirit is doing in us should magnify God and his centrality in our lives. As we are decreasing, he will increase in our lives – this is truly a wonderful reality.

I am amazed that God does not expect us to go and seek circumstances for him to do the deep work. Living in a broken and flawed world, they easily find us and in God’s sovereignty and wisdom, he knows how to bring them across our paths. Nancy Guthrie asks very poignant questions when difficult circumstances insert themselves into our lives: “Will we see this as God being unkind or uncaring toward us? Or will we see in our suffering the loving hand of God preparing us for usefulness in this world, and purifying us for an eternity in his presence?”

My prayer is that we will be convinced of the latter.

May we trust in the goodness of God as he is seeking to do a deep work in every one of us and may we work with him, surrendering ourselves to his Fatherly hand. His intentions are always for his glory and our good, even if we do not always understand his ways.