Over the past few months I found myself waiting much longer than would be normal and than I expected to find out an important bit of information that has a massive impact upon my plans for the future. Discussing this situation with my friend while rather tired I said something to the effect of “I think God is trying to teach me trust or patience or something this semester. I wish he’d just hurry up and finish!” My friend made the most reasonable response to an outburst like that and laughed at me. Telling God to hurry up and teach me patience proves how very far I have to go.
As silly as this outburst was, I think the sentiment underlying it is a common one. We want God to just fix us. We want our spiritual breakthroughs straight away. We want to be sanctified on the spot. We want to be made holy without any hassle.
Lately I’ve kept coming back to Philippians 1:6- “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” . I’ve blogged about it before. Most of my pondering on the verse have been focused on the fact that God will bring to completion what he is doing. Today I was thinking about the time frame it gives for that happening. The time frame is not months or years or when we manage some level of spiritual effort. The time frame for when God will finish his work in us is when Jesus comes back.
That means that until Jesus comes back we will still be in progress. Certainly we should hope to make some progress in sanctification and some areas will likely become much less of an issue but in this life we will not arrive at fully holy. As long as we are here we will keep struggling. Theoretically God could zap us now so that we never struggled with the slightest sin again. In his wisdom he has decided to not make things work that way. It certainly is frustrating sometimes to be stuck waiting for the day when all things, us included, will be made perfect. We need to let that frustration drive us not to give up but to long for that day and to cooperate with God’s work in our life to make us more and more like him.