Modify Me

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son,… Romans 8:29

Dear friends,

The Lord gave me a word this morning that is going to change your life.

You know from my last letter (Set Your GPS) that I’ve been a little low over my broken oven. I’ve called the repairman. Stay tuned… This mornin’ I felt a divine nudge to reflect on Brother Paul’s message in Romans 8:29: For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son,… Now note that passage comes right after a verse you likely know by heart: …all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Since the scripture says we’re predestined to be conformed, I explored that word in my Webster. “To adapt,” it says. Hmmm… knowing the Lord isn’t pleased with my oven anxiety, I further researched adapt. “To make fit for a new use or situation.” That stirred my spirit because I’ve been in diligent prayer that my letters bless my readers, but I know for sure I can’t write spirit-filled words of encouragement when I’m down in the dumps over cold dinners.

Saints, Brother Paul says all things – not some things – not most things – but all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called to His purpose. Not your plans and purpose, mind you. His purpose.

Well, if we’re called, then we must be willing to be conformed to the image of Jesus. God Almighty is shaping our hearts to be in harmony with His. Imagine saints, the God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills pacing back and forth across the heavenly living room worried about where He’ll find the money fix my oven. Or whether or not He has the ability to resolve your current concern. Preposterous! This is the Great I AM who can separate seas, then drown a company of soldiers (Exodus 14), can turn a drenched stack of wood into a bonfire (1 Kings 18), and who conquered death. If we truly are adapting to God’s image, we must embrace His power and provision! He told me to cast that dead oven on to His shoulders, so every time I think about it and fret over it and surely when I whine about it, I’ve not cast it and I’m not being conformed. My eyes have been focused on my desires for a warm supper instead of being grateful I have an oven at all. I bowed my head and prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right, trusting, grateful spirit within me.” Then I stood up and sang that sweet song aloud. Come on. Get to your feet and belt it out like you mean it!

Do cares pile up on you too? Now let me be clear here, there is a lot of sorrow in the world these days. Some have had everything they own destroyed by fire. Families have been devastated by violence. Hurricanes have wiped out entire communities. It’s natural for those folks to be forlorn, and we, the Church, are called to mourn with them. But I’m talking about those earthly concerns that Jesus so clearly tells us to entrust to Him. Does He not feed the birds of the air? Is He really going to make His daughter go without an oven because funds are finite? What are you anxious about today? Have those negative thoughts impacted your resolve to care for your temple? Is there a correlation between your fretting and your feedings? Then you, too, need to put yourself and your worry back in the able hands of the Almighty.

Oh Church, I’m preachin’ to myself. I am embarrassed I have questioned my Father’s faithfulness. I am frustrated I allow funds to enslave me. But let’s not stay mired in the mud. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to help us take off those lies that so easily entangle us and put on the image of Christ. Can we pray together?

Gracious heavenly Father,

You are God. Yahweh. The great I AM. God with us.

You know those lies that trip us – deceive us – squelch our spirit of gratitude and joy. This day in the name and power of our Savior Jesus Christ, we give thanks that you are conforming us to your image - making us fit for a new use or situation. You are modifying our thoughts and actions to bring You glory. Thank You for Your great patience, Lord. You are our God and we are your people.

Live Well,