I’ve spent the afternoon de-cluttering and organizing a bedroom. After working for about 3 hours, throwing out 2 huge paper bags of clutter, sweeping, cleaning and dusting, the room looks more or less the same as when I began.
To the ordinary observer, there may not be much difference between how it looked when I started, and how it looks now. But to me, I know there’s a huge difference. I know where the difference lies under the beds and chairs, in the boxes and in the drawers. I know it’s much fresher than when I began, and I am pleased with my work, with myself even.
Maybe that’s how God works in us, a little. After He’s dealt with our character flaws, pride, prejudice and all sorts of hidden spider webs in our cracks and crevices, He looks at us and He is pleased with His work in us, and with Himself.
He can now present us to the world or allow the world to see us. Just like I can now comfortably and confidently show the bedroom to a visitor, God is also proud to show us off. Because I know that when the visitor sits down, no dust will rise; if the visitor drops something and bends to pick it, there will be no unfortunate surprises under the furniture. No funny internet history or gossip history or financial history. No foul attitude or speech. All dealt with.
I am now proud of my work and my presentation, even though it does not look very different from the beginning. Our height, complexion, build etc may not change much, but God knows that what matters most – the inside – has changed significantly. And He is proud of us.
And so when He sends us out, presents us to the world, entrusts us with a task, He knows that we can handle it, because He has been working in us. And so we need not fear. We need to trust God and accept His good work in us, as He prepares us to be His workmanship, as He had already predestined. Ours is to keep ourselves pure, knowing that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, obey His commandments, love Him, love our fellow mankind and serve Him faithfully. We may not feel very different, we may not even look very different, but the truth is that we ARE different.
Therefore let us be bold and of good courage, using whatever gifts we have received to serve others, knowing that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it. Let’s finish with this hymn excerpt.
I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me has been made known
Nor why unworthy as I am
He claimed me for His own
I know whom I have believed
And I’m persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day!