Thursday, September 27, 2007

little by little

In scripture we see that we make great strides in the Jesus way really over time, little by little. Not to say there may not be those special turning points, not necessarily always perceived by us as to exactly when, that can make a world of difference in our lives. This fact of little by little is seen all throughout scripture and it ends up resonating with who we are and where we live now.

Life is a process. There are parts in it that we would all like to throw out. But they're there, and we have to deal with them. Too many times we can sweep these under the rug or pretend they don't exist, try to ignore them. But we have to take the good and the bad of who we are, what is really the case, and we have to work on it. This is a life-long project, this endeavor to follow Christ and become more and more like him.

But all this is little by little. We need to be content with that, but we also must want nothing less. Little by little means progression, even though it may be slow and painful at times. Or at times it may seem like no progress is being made at all, and instances when it seems and when perhaps we are going backwards. Though I believe God is faithful as we seek in our hearts to rightfully live in his will, to encourage us along the way- that we are growing in Jesus.

This will require a passion, and equally important, faith- from God, to carry on and not give up because of what little progress we see or don't see. And it involves community, living with other followers of Jesus, encouraging others daily. It's a walk, involving our thoughts, our attitudes, our words and actions. But little by little, through all the windings, ebbs and flows and even conundrums of life, we must keep going, until in his grace we reach God's end for us, in Jesus.

10 comments:

Christian said...

Good Day :) God is Love, May you experience God's Love this Day, may we really learn to Praise him in all things :) Lets Share God's Love today :) You are Loved!

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

I agree wholeheartedly - it is progressive sanctification - and sometimes working it out in fear and trembling is a very slow and painful process!!

Thanks as ususal for your comments – you made me laugh with the editing comment as I write comments in Word, do grammar and spell check if they are longer than 2 sentences – mostly because even when I proof read I invariably miss something and I certainly don’t spell well!

I agree with the “not naming” as specific area of struggle. Certainly it could discourage – but also could lead to comparison, which is not helpful either. However, I have a different intent, which I hope will become evident within the next post or two as I propose my hypothesis for all of “addiction”.

NaNcY said...

-

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.



galatians 5:25

Kim said...

Ted, I agree and disagree. In our ministry to couples in crisis, my wife and I come across many wives who wish their husbands would have more urgency about their walk. Here's a piece of a recent post of mine that explains why I disagree.

"The mirror on my wall
Casts an image dark and small
But I'm not sure at all it's my reflection.
I am blinded by the light
Of God and truth and right
And I wander in the night without direction.

So I'll continue to continue to pretend
My life will never end,
And Flowers Never Bend
With The Rainfall."

Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall
Paul Simon


I lie to myself. I like to think I have all the time in the world to effect the changes that I want to in my life. The reality is, I'm 50 years old now. It seems like just yesterday I was 30. But, 70 seems light years away (if I ever make it)!

With so many of my commitments, re-commitments and resolutions, the critical question is "When, When.....WHEN!!!!" If my quest is to change the way I think act and talk to be more Christlike...the critical question is..."WHEN?" My pattern is to procrastinate, overthink, hem and haw, make excuses, postpone, dilly dally, get overwhelmed, and just plain waste a bunch of time.

In my weaker moments (when my reflection is "dark and small"), I refuse to believe these things about myself. Everyone around me suffers for my lack of sense of urgency about my un-Christlikeness.

For me, the answer to the critical question is "Now, Now...NOW!!!"

"But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers." John 4:23

I love your blog.
Peace, Kim

Ted M. Gossard said...

Christian, Amen. Did lift my spirits when I first read this comment today.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Susan, I really look forward to your next post or two. I'm very interested in the subject of addiction.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy, Good passage to connect with this post.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Kim, Good thoughts as usual, and thanks.

Yes, I agree we need urgency. And there are times when there are crucial turning points for us; I guess I didn't mention that in the post though in writing it I had, but must have erased it for some reason.

So I did not mean to convey that we can relax with mediocrity and failure to do God's will. I would probably express it more like we need urgency, but also we need to realize that growth is mostly little by little. Something like that.

Blessings on you and your wife's ministry to others. Just this week I heard an excellent husband- wife reconciliation story- Clint and Penny Bragg.
http://inverseministries.org/Testimonials/Testimonials.html
Great testimony and good for everyone to hear, I believe.

NaNcY said...

i was just thinking this morning on my daughters, and their growing up. it seems fast when i look back at it all, but, while it is happening it sometimes seems longer, especially the times that i must say something to them a bazillion times before they get it. example...pick up your clothes, make your bed, is your homework done and did you brush your teeth...and so relating this to spiritual growing up...it takes a life time.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy, You were (and are, I'm sure) a good mother. Yes, we all need to hear the same things over and over again from God in his word.

Great analogy, and thanks for sharing that!