ONCE AND AGAIN – YOUR story.
Now we begin. Hebrews 12:2 says, ‘… looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…’
AUTHOR. In the Hebrew the word author translates: chief leader, captain, prince. However, it comes from two other words: one means commencement / beginning & the other means to induce or bring about. So, if I was going to use another statement in place of ‘author’ I could say that Jesus is the One who initiates beginnings.
Therefore, He is the One who initiates beginnings AND He is also the Finisher.
The word Finisher is only used once in the Bible and it means the state of completeness/ perfection… completer.
Do you stay as putty in His hands, offering gentle hearts of submission daily?
I know I can’t even comprehend the depths of God’s thoughts, nevertheless figure out my single purpose within His great plans. I am going to need to get still and be saturated with a WHOLE lot of Jesus to end up ‘complete’, to fulfill what He could and can do in me.
Yet what is Jesus the Author and Finisher of?Our faith.
FAITH. In the Hebrew it is translated as your persuasion regarding the truthfulness of God, especially one’s reliance upon Christ for salvation.
Jesus is the One who initiates beginnings and He is also the finisher of all that we believe in – in matters of faith. Please note what He is not. He is not the author of our choices nor the one who stands guard of our heart. Nor the one who must give account for our decisions. The scripture repeatedly says that each of us will give account for ourselves. (Romans 14:12, I Peter 4:4-5)
When you think of your faith are you thinking of quiet times? Prayer times? Your salvation? Or has Jesus becomes such an integral part of you that when you hear faith you think of your life… rather than a portion or allotted time within your day /week???
Yet many believe God scripted our days… every step, every turn, every sin. Do you? No. Stop. I really want you to think about that last question. Is God responsible for all the bad stuff in your life?
One way to tell what you believe is to look back at how you responded when stuff happened that opposed what YOU thought would have been best: trials, abuse, storms, financial loss, consequences for sin, health issues, death etc.,
Did you blame God when it came undone? Were you like Jonah when his shade tree withered and died and left him baking in the scorching sun or did you fall into Jesus with your questions and pain?
Have you ever justified your sin and said it was a part of His plan?
Have you ever blamed God?
Lenny & I witnessed it in the lives of God’s children as they faced hard situations but God didn’t do evil in any of them nor does He create or use evil. (James 1:12-18) But He will allow evil to run its course in this world YET in every struggle the Spirit of God extends grace and choices.
- We did the crime. Our hearts ran after evil and then we had to pay. We are now in a prison of our own making, yet in the midst of that the Spirit of God still desires to draw all us back to the heart of Christ. But we choose to repent and learn from it as we wait OR we become hardened and bitter rejecting the hope and help of God. It’s our choice.
- We are persecuted for our faith. We took up our cross and went out or went home bearing witness and encountered opposition. We are at a crossroads, yet the Spirit is speaking words of comfort and wisdom so that we might press on. But we choose what to do in light of that struggle: hide the light so we don’t have to deal with the conflict OR continue lifting Him up in love in order that others might experience His glory displayed in us. It’s our choice.
- Our days are numbered. God knows the length of them and our end. But when cancer strikes a child, someone loses their battle with addiction or death overtakes a young saint we shake a fist or quietly turn away from the all-powerful God who rose Jesus from the grave but did not choose to stop this travesty. In that moment we choose to become indignant OR we embrace and surrender our will to His own. It’s our choice.
Sadly, God is named by scoffers as the cause of all the chaos we go through. They say, ‘If He is all-powerful and loving then why all the injustices? Either he doesn’t love us or he lacks the power to maintain the cause of his creation because our world is riddled with abuse, neglect, pain, destitution, slavery, bondage, war etc.,’
Scoffers, unbelievers and those whose faith has not rooted may question everything BUT God is not the author of our chooses or the chaos.
Read I Corinthians 14:33, what does it say God IS the author of? And what is He NOT the author of?
God is the author of peace, not confusion (aka disorder / instability).
The truth is that God has seen our every step. In love He formed us. He knew us before we were ever born. We were at rest, at peace with our Maker in those months we nestled within our mother’s womb. Psalm 139 says He saw my substance, being yet unformed… He fashioned my days.
He initiated our beginning. His thoughts toward us were precious.
In the years that follow our birth His eyes still rest upon us but no longer are His hands defining the boundaries of our hands, hearts and minds.
As young adults we stand as citizens of this world and He waits. He has stood at the edge of darkness and extended Himself and His Son upon the cross in order that we might know His grace and mercy. But He will not dictate what we choose or when. And while the Spirit of the Living God strives within the heart of man WE ultimately choose if and how WE will run the race of faith.
God knows how much of ourselves we will ultimately surrender and when.
Those moments of faith and rejection are already recorded but He didn’t script them, those were defined by our choices. That is free will.
I can’t tell you today about tomorrow, I’d be just like any weatherman giving you my best guess.
Intentionally, I have to rise each morning and chose to live within or without Christ.
If I walk in the Spirit today I will experience and bring with me the peace of God. BUT if I rise and do not yoke up to Christ, the person people will see is ME. My actions. My reactions. My fears. My distress. My frustrations. My flesh.
It’s time to let the Initiator of every good and perfect gift… to take hold of us and get to those finishing touches.
Here we are, Lord. Create in us Your Work of Art.
On a scale 1 -10 (1 being low and 10 being maxed out high)
Where would others say your faith level rested?
And if you were just being still and honest before the Lord, where would He say your faith level rested today?
Is that number different? and if so can you identify why?
Have you relinquished every area of your life to the Lord or are there areas where the even the Author and Finisher of your faith is going to find NO TRESPASSING signs?
If we don’t know them, own them and surrender them… Uhmmm.