During my reading this morning, I came across a quote in My Utmost For His Highest that got me thinking: “When a man is born again, there is not the same robustness in his thinking or reasoning for a time as formerly. We have to make an expression of the new life, to form the mind of Christ.”
Since I gave my life to Christ, I have gone through seasons during which my commitment was tested by seemingly random hardship—downturns in energy, mood, sharpness and effectiveness. I felt crippled and often plodded around without any concentration. At such times, I am tempted to turn to the devices of the flesh to obtain relief. I long to find the satisfaction of my own faculties crackling with vitality again. During times of prolonged dryness, I am often tempted to do things like line up dates on Match.com or spend the weekend holed up at home with a stack of videos, eating pizza and ice cream. The package stores call to me. But what God has called me to do is to stay the course, pray and wait for Him to give me relief when He sees fit.
The broader lesson of today’s Chambers reading is that during seasons when we are letting God revamp our lives, we will find ourselves working with an unfamiliar set of tools and procedures. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17, emphasis mine). Like workers whose equipment has just been given a significant upgrade, we will feel clumsy for a while until we get used to the new devices. Our output will be slowed or even stopped for a time. It will seem as though what we are embarking on is working against us. We will experience pain, frustration and barked knuckles. But God isn’t telling us to put down our crude tools to confound us; He wants to give us His tools to use. Usually we must stop doing one thing before we can begin doing another.