Today's Utmost for His Highest reading caught me off guard with this fantastic New Year's idea.
Chambers notes that our Lord does not "patch up" our natural virtues...our natural traits, qualities or characteristics.
He doesn't take what we came with, take what we have inherited, take what our mama's gave us, take what life has handed us, and fix them up, turning those lemons into some kind of sweeter lemonade.
I'm the one always trying to do that.
Not God. He doesn't patch us up.
He completely remakes a person on the inside.
The life God places within us develops its OWN new virtues, not the virtues of the seed of Adam, but of Jesus Christ.
God doesn't take our natural virtues and transform them, because our natural virtues could never even come close to what Jesus Christ wants. But as we bring our natal bodily life into harmony with the new life God has placed within us, He will exhibit in us the virtues that were characteristic of the Lord Jesus.
Something about that whole idea just totally opened my eyes this morning and has given me a new hope for the new year.
This new year isn't about doing our best with what we've been given. He is making all things new, and all our springs are in Him, He puts on the new man. This year isn't about my virtues or my best. This year isn't actually about ME at all.
It's about His complete remaking of us on the inside...it's about the Jesus Christ that God has placed within us.
This also means that we are not bound by others, not bound by circumstances, not bound by pains or shortcomings or difficulties or 2016 or 2010 or 2000. We're not bound by this past year, we're not even bound by yesterday.
Once God has begun this process of sanctification in your life, watch and see how God causes your confidence in your own natural virtues and power to wither away. He will continue until we learn to draw our lives from the reservoir of the resurrection life of Jesus.
Thank God if you are going through this drying-up experience!
Looking forward, today, to a new year NOT of a million natural goals I will try my very best at--but a new year of putting on the new man (Eph. 4:24), allowing Him to exhibit in us the virtues that are characteristic of Jesus...His alone.
He makes all things new.
Our God is not working with our very best...but with His.
Praise the Lord.