“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48, NIV).
I am His creation. I am on a journey reaching to be more like Him. If I continually reach to be “perfect” like Him, I discover an obedience of my will and surrender to His purpose that builds my character. He is perfect because He is God. He is perfect love, perfect forgiveness, perfect grace, perfect virtue, and perfect righteousness. That adjective “perfect” becomes His action upon my life when, as a verb in the presence tense, He changes me as only He can. He “perfects” me. When I surrender all the things that keep me from growing spiritually, He molds me into His creation. As His hand presses here and there in my life, I become more refined by Him. When I allow Him to change me, His perfection of character has become my desire.
Honestly evaluating my life and how I live my faith, I will—without excuse—assess my character. He will show what I need to change and impart His power to do it. He will reveal how my life impacts others, and what it says about me. When He reveals something I didn't handle well, I will seek to understand how I could have handled it better. I will pray about how such a mistake could have been avoided. If I have absolutely failed Him by action or deed, I will ask from a truly repentant heart for forgiveness and move on. I shall not freeze out of fear of failing Him again. If I am honest with Him and with myself, then He can mold me into the person He desires.
If I surrender my life, He is always as close as my next breath. He is always my helper in my darkest moment. He leads me through circumstances that overwhelm. He brings me from my weakness to His strength and power—from destruction to His protection—from poverty to supply—from doubt to faith. I will never forget that He has rescued me from sin, and wrought His love, peace, and joy in my life. Never will I allow any circumstance or failure to destroy His life in me. I will turn that circumstance and failure around for His glory. I will allow everything in my life to develop His character in me.
“Being confident of this,” Paul wrote, “that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:6, 9-11, NIV). When times are hard and circumstances rage, I will remember that He has begun this work in me, and I am being changed for His glory and purpose. His hand presses into the clay of my mere existence and fires me in the kiln of life until l am a fine vessel, perfected for His purpose. He perfects me just as my heavenly father is perfect—one moment at a time—one heartbeat at a time.
(Copyright 2017 Lynn Hampton Lacher)