Friday, September 9, 2016

A Graceful Revelation

I Peter 1:13 "Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."

When one reads this verse, it seems like a job description or a to do list to receive a blessing. First I must "gird my mind." What is that? 

To "gird" means to get ready for something. In ancient days, men and woman wore long tunics with belts around the waist. When work or even going into a battle presented itself, the hems sometimes got in the way, so, the wearer would lift the bottom and tuck it into the belt, thus preparing to take on the task at hand. 

Second, keep sober in spirit. If I am hoping for a blessing, for God to prepare a way, I would hope He wouldn't look down from His Throne and find me lazy in my pursuit of Him, flippant in my attitude, or "drunk" in desperation over a situation where anxiety rules and unkind and unfaithful words gush out. 

Third, "fix your hope." Constant, dialed in, no wavering, steadfast, unmovable. 

OK, once we've got all that accomplished, perfected, then we are Holy and can receive a revelation, a blessing...a fine life as a believer. Is that what this verse indicates? 

But that is not what Grace is. Grace...well that comes first. The revelation? That came the moment we trusted, believed, had the encounter with our true self, our sin nature and the perfect God who desires a relationship with us. 

Grace is Christ and Christ is Grace. We are Holy in His eyes because of the Cross. To grow in the Lord takes some action on our part. Getting our feet wet in the Word, finding our place in the Body of Christ, prayer and intimacy with the Lord, transparency with each other struggling to do the same--this is the beginning and the eternal revelation of holiness, the work He will do in us and through us. 

In the last 4 weeks there are things I am preparing for with the Lord as my Shepherd, clearing the way. Spending 3 summers writing a memoir, it is ever clear through this whole process and beyond, that He is before every word I've written. Ready, sober, fixed on relaying His story of grace and mercy within my grief, I completed the work and now take action through His grace to present it for publication. 

My husband awaits a major surgery. God prepares us in very tangible ways and even in some complicated ways, yet He gives us the wisdom to see His purpose in those difficulties. I choose to fix my eyes on Him and know that when He gives us something hard, complicated, something we have to wait and see through, He also has a plan to remove it in His timing and reward us in our faithfulness and obedience. 

I've seen it before. Sometimes as humans, we just don't take care of something hindering us because of our various excuses or doubts. So God, in His love for us, puts that hindrance front and center and then gives us a promise, that all things will work together for the good. 

"Trust Me in this,  He says. Let's take action together and the hindrance will be all for My glory and Your testimony." 

And that is the revelation...

when you begin to know from the very beginning that God's grace covers it all. "I believe in You Lord, help me with my unbelief." 

Lord, when we face certain trials or even in today's daily challenges of living and pursuing a righteous life, Your instructions are for us to be proactive in our faith, even when we can only muster up a little at a time. It's our heart You look at, our desire to know You more, share Your grace and love with our neighbor and each other, surrender our incompleteness to You. Lord, be our belt, holding on tight to those things that want to trip us up. Protect us from the intoxication of the world, the demons of doubt and anxiousness. Help us Lord to focus on Your goodness, from all the things we have already seen and what You have promised to give us. Thank You Lord, for Your grace that goes before us and for Your plan that prepares the way for Your Glory to be revealed through us, already set before us through Your Son on the Cross. What a privilege Lord to walk on this prepared road, the rocky parts and the smooth as Your child trusting and waiting for more grace to come. Amen. 


  1. I love these words and find inspiration in them.

  2. I have no words this time . . . only tears along with renewed hope in His amazing Grace and His perfect plan. I. Love. This. Post. :)