Wednesday, March 21, 2012

He Will Finish You

by Christina Stolaas

I’ve never considered myself a perfectionist by nature. However, as I grow closer to Jesus my failures seem to persistently antagonize me. Despite how many “things I do right”-- the actions I focus and internalize on are my shortcomings. My weaknesses! The inconvenient truth is the closer I get to Jesus—the more of them I count.

Not patient enough. Easily angered. Swears too much. Jealous. Inconsistent. Lies. Ungrateful. Questions God. Selfish. Doesn’t read the bible enough. Inadequate prayer life. Won’t forgive. Won’t obey. The list could fill pages. Literally. My failures are enormous—they are constant. But, my God is bigger!

As I walk closer with Jesus the blinders are peeled from my eyes so that I am more and more aware of my need for a Savior! I know without the mercy and grace of Jesus I would be lost. My sin is ever present! I understand what I deserve! Death. Punishment. Eternal Separation. I am beyond thankful for unmerited favor--beyond thankful that I cannot earn my way into heaven by deeds.

But somehow, I think I’ve missed the boat. I have trouble recognizing the cross and it’s full sufficiency. Sometimes I get so swallowed up in my failures that it’s as if I need to be saved over and over and over again. Instead of running to the cross and letting God claim my imperfections and deficients, I run from it! In my own shame, in my own embarrassment—I hide.

What I am learning is that it is not my job entirely to hang on to God. In fact, if it was I would have been in a hopeless and irredeemable state a long time ago. He is hanging on to me eagerly. He loves me too much to let me go. He knows my failures, He knows my weaknesses, He knows my heart will question and even argue at times—and yet He died for me. He knew I’d be messy, but never considered me a liability to His cause!

But it doesn’t stop there. He not only died TO save me, He wants a relationship WITH me. Not just when I pray the right prayers, or read my bible enough. Not just when I have successful days. Not just when I am a “good” witness or example as a follower of Christ. He wants me IN my weakness. In the middle where my own efforts result in failure—this is where God’s powers is showcased the most. When I can’t, He can! Where I won’t go, He volunteers to walk with me! When I am afraid, He gently says “fear not” and leads the way!

Grace isn’t meant to be concealed. Grace is meant to displayed! Not just once on the cross, but everyday, every hour through my life. My life is meant to project God’s grace and favor even as a sinner. By clinging to my shame I am choosing to reject the cross. By clinging to my perfect Christian facade I am rejecting the authentic and transparency Jesus desires for my life. By clinging to my pride, I am failing to give the cross the glory it deserves.

When my efforts at behavior modification fall short I get discouraged. I feel like giving up. I feel unusable. I’m not who “I want to be.” I can’t seem to “do it right.” But God isn’t all that concerned with the “destination of my life!” Why you ask?! Because He already knows it! In fact, I really ought to know it as well. God says He’ll finish the good work He’s started in my life. (Philippians 1:6) Finish it! Not continue working on me until I fail for the umpteenth time. Not continue to work unless I push Him away. Not continue to work until I feel like giving up. No, God says, “I’m going to finish you kid. “

It’s not an ideal scenario or one that as a Christian you should merely hope for. Rather, the bible says...Be confident, I WILL finish what I’ve started in your life. But, not today. Not tomorrow, not next week or the month after. That’s what I’m learning... it’s not about the destination. He WILL finish me! He’s already promised it. God doesn’t break His promises, never has, never will.

When I spend all my energy looking at my failures and beating myself up for my pitfalls I miss out on being a part of God’s plan. If I hide my gifts, talents, and God given calling until I have it “all together” then my time on this earth will be wasted. I won’t be perfect until He takes me home. Today God has gently said to my heart,”Let me worry about finishing you! You just keep moving. Keep seeking Me. Keep Listening for My voice. Keep getting up when you fall. I am the perfecter and finisher of all things!”

Do you believe God will finish you? If not, what holds you back from that belief?

Christina is an energetic mom to four adorable young kids. In her free time she enjoys writing, training for roads races, and passionately pursuing a deeper walk with Jesus. Through a rough childhood she has learned to earnestly trust in the Sovereignty of God and seek to be "fruitful in suffering" as God continues to mold her to His likeness and bring beauty for ashes! (Isaiah 61:3)

19 comments:

  1. Thanks for this!!
    I think of Jesus on the cross and when he said, "It is finished" I realized I don't have to keep striving to make myself perfect. He DID it already and I'm just going through that process now. To know that He is VICTORIOUS over my weaknesses is really reassuring. The more I spend time with him I become more and more like him.

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  2. What a beautiful post and reminder! Yes I know God will finish me. I am so not perfect. I mess up constantly, but remembering God is still working on me and can still use me for His will and to do good, to be a light for Him is comforting.

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  3. Ohmy!! It's like you can read my mind, what I'm dealing with! This is so spot on and absolutely made my day. I need a reminder of this daily. Thank you so much for writing this! He WILL finish me! Amen! :) Blessings~

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  4. He will finish what He's started in our lives...YES! Thanks for the reminder and for authentically sharing what so many of us can relate to! We're honored to have you as our guest blogger today. Thanks Christina!

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  5. What an honor to be featured on this awesome blog. Thanks for the love! I have to remind myself daily, He WILL finish me! Sometimes I am a lot better at cooperating with this finishing process then others. I started recording some of God "aha moments" the beginning of 2012. Don't update it frequently-- but here's my site with some of what I've written as God teaches me to embrace Him: http://madhattinmom.com/

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    1. An honor to share your post! Thank you for encouraging so many of your sisters! Grateful to have you a part of our pretty amazing community.

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    2. Christina stolaasMarch 22, 2012 at 8:37 PM

      It is an amazing blog and I too have been encouraged by so many of the writings!

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  6. Great post! I do believe God will finish what He has started in me, in us all. Because my God is a Faithful God. I know I mess up too often, but I also know that the blood of Jesus never loses its power. He died for us even when we were still sinners, we owe Him our lives, our whole being. He does the work, we need to stay faithful and willing to be formed by our Creator. Amen to this post, loved reading it! :)

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  7. As I was reading this article, I was reminded of the Misty Edwards song, "I Knew What I Was Getting Into". The song simply talks about how when God called us and formed us in our mother's womb - he knew exactly what he was getting into! He knew what our ups and downs would be. And YET he still desires an intimate relationship with us. How awesome is that? It's so awesome to serve a God that has relentless love for his children. He continues to pursue us. All he asks for is a heart that is completely abandoned for him! I always want to be in a place where I am captivated and fascinated by the Lord. Just like David! :)

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  8. Wow, I'm super excited because I just happened to, well it was Jesus, but ya I wasn't searching for a blog like this. I try my hardest to follow Jesus but lately I've been allowing all of the unknowns in my life to frustrate me. I needed to hear that He has already promised to finish the work He started so I shouldn't be so concerned with messing it up, but rather follow Him and see where I end up. Thanks!

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    1. Joy, welcome to our community!!! We're so glad you're a part of Wonderfully Made!

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  9. Thank you for this beautiful post! I really needed this encouragement and reminder. God is so good!

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  10. You and me must be alike on so many levels! Right now is not a ”pretty” time in my life, im young and in college and I feel like life keeps hitting me and im doing the best I can do..but I cant help but feel that my best is rather pathetic. Im finding myself praying to start over with who I am in God and just being His daughter. I didnt know that having faith and trusting God was this hard..but ill keep hopeing and moving forward because in the end its all I can do.

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  11. i absolutely love this! i was thinking about htis very thing this week. I often will feel weighed down over this issue. this post was such a blessing!

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  13. Thanks for sharing your deepest emotions Christina. I think many women can relate to this, especially for perfectionists and type As *raises my hand*. We see what we haven't perfected yet. As for me, I focus too much on doing what I think is right to erase the "imperfections"... it's easy to say that we're humans after all, and none of us are perfect. But it's when we're experiencing these blind emotions that it's difficult to keep ourselves standing firm by the cross, instead of running away from it. Anyways, let's all keep our eyes fixed on the Living Inspirator... only He is perfect.

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