God has begun a Project in us, are we available? Yes, God will perform the thing concerning us, no problem. Will we let Him? He’ll work the plan in faithfulness, will we faithfully cooperate? Explain? It’s easier to understand this relationship when we consider God’s ends for us. When we do, our part simply responds, responds, responds.
God has marked out boundaries for a believer’s life, did you know that? What kind of boundaries? —boundaries set from God’s foreknowledge. For instance, He already knows beforehand the number of people we will meet in our whole life. He knows how much money we will make. He knows every decision we will encounter and the ultimate outcome of our choices. He knows how many times we will ignore our choices. He knows our thoughts afar off, and yes, He knows our name, and our wife and children too.
So, with the advantage of all that God foreknows, He makes a plan to conform us to the image of His Son. That means my current self-image must be removed. Here is where uncooperation or cooperation begins. (Where the rubber meets the road?). See, my self-image, good or poor, is nevertheless “self,” and this is the problem. God must, in a plan, so remove “self”. Why? Because “self” contraries God’s goal for us—the image of Christ.
So what happens in this plan? “Death”. Are you willing to cooperate? See this project of God will eventually uglify my inner-dude to the point that I can’t bear to fellowship with me. I get sick of trying to figure “me” out, trying to measure “me” up, or daily tasting my miserable and guilty “me”.
We study the Bible and open up to a deeper realization. We discover that the “devastating” plan will be wonderfully freeing. We then begin to embrace the submission process. There was a joy set before Christ, He endured the cross. In the plan, our good self-image gets an outward shellacking but our poor one gathers a quagmire from within. It is OK. Both tools of the Master purify us from wanting to look at our self-image anymore.
We struggle to be free, a butterfly discarding larvae and cocoon. We emerge fruit, leaving behind seed and soil and the stalk. We blossom a rose, thorns take a background seat. We no longer look for a self-image as we discern that need is for the unblossomed identity. Our new self-identity has transformed us to beautiful, meaningfulness and purpose.
We are the apple of God’s eye now, graven on the palms of His hands. “Thou are all fair, my love, there is no spot in thee.” “The king’s daughter is all glorious within.” We are beginning to know, as also we are known of Him. His evaluation now matters all, I don’t trust my own.