Lately I have been doing a rebuilding project on my barbeque grill. I was thinking that it was going to take just a few hours and I would have a grill that was like new again. But as is often the case, it has turned out to be a month long endeavor.
First I had to clean the grease off of it enough to find out exactly what needed to be replaced. Then I had to locate a parts supplier that actually carried the parts I needed. Extensive internet searches turned up a number of parts options. So I placed the orders and waited for their arrival. However, once they arrived I realized some parts were the wrong size and had to be returned and reordered. Others were constructed a little differently than the originals and had to be installed with modifications to the barbeque itself. Still other parts were out of stock or replacement options were just not satisfactory and had to be returned. All in all it has been a month long project. But finally I have a restored grill that is good to go for several more years.
Do you suppose God has some of the same difficulties when it comes to restoring you to a right relationship with him? Make no mistake about it, you are a restoration project of the Lords. David prayed, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” (Ps 51:12) God wants everyone to experience-daily-the joy of salvation and a spirit that is willing and anxious to obey, serve and honor Him. The problem is that it often takes far longer than anticipated for this to happen. I can think of a few reasons for the delayed progress.
- Our issues are far deeper than we thought or are willing to admit. In our own shortsightedness, or inflated view of ourselves, we think that we are pretty good and it won’t take us very long at all to restore what might have been lost by wondering away from the Lord. However, once the restoration begins we discover lots of “stuff” that we didn’t even realize existed. So we are forced to go much deeper into our issues to get back to where God wants us to be, in joyful fellowship with him.
- Other times the problem is our resistance to the restoration project itself. We know what we need to do and who we need to be but we just don’t want to let it happen. We would rather choose the pleasures of sin for a “season” than allow God to get on with the renewal of our hearts and relationship.
- And still other times the problem is the cultural norm of our day. We are unwilling to go against what everyone else is doing for fear of standing out or being different. The acceptance of others is more important than pleasing God. We just don’t want to be counter cultural, even though Jesus, our leader, was the most counter cultural person who ever lived.
So, whatever the reason or excuse, by the way, an excuse is nothing more than the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie, isn’t it time to get over it and get past it and get on with the restoration project God wants to work in you. Our prayer and desire of our heart should be, “Restore us, O LORD God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved. (Ps 80:19)
Oh, by the way, God will not give up on you or leave you alone until you surrender to His renewal plan. What he starts he finishes. “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 1:6)