I had an honest conversation with God this week, laying in my bed, talking with him. I had a sober question – “God, why do I still live with anxiety?” (Anxiety has been a part of my life for the past couple of years).
A passage of scripture came to mind – a piece of autobiography by the apostle Paul, perhaps the greatest missionary the church has ever known. The autobiography is within a letter he wrote to a church in a city called Philippi:
Whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:7-11)
Pretty impressive words from a deeply committed Christ-follower- pretty easy to get pretty intimidated by someone so committed. But listen to his story as he proceeds:
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14).
I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Following Christ is not just having God-moments – like being healed, or having a wonderful experience with God. Rather, it is a movement that takes in all of our lives, and we have a part in it. Only God can heal us of our brokenness, but we have to continue to “take hold” of his work in our lives. He sometimes brings 100% transformation at once, and we always hope he will. But he often leaves the work not completely finished so we will to continue to walk in faith – our part.