Tuesday, September 24, 2013


(Excerpt from the chapter "Living on my summit" from Leona's book-in-progress)

Living on my summit I shall try to roll with the punches and meet changes of life head on with courage and trust in God. 

Changes are inevitable, and they come thick and fast as we grow older. They are part of the Heavenly Potter’s finishing process, shaping us like clay until the final day of life. Changes move me further along as I am being transformed into the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ from glory to glory. Changes are not accidental or incidental. God brings them into my life for my growth toward spiritual maturity.
Youth, by and large, welcomes changes. Older people tend to resist changes outward and inward. Our negative attitudes and habits become more pronounced as we grow older. We become more rigid and insist that it is too late to change. That isn’t true. I lose a blessing if I refuse to change. I gain and progress when I view changes as new challenges and opportunities to grow. Even while living on the summit, I can still change so that the rest of my way will be more pleasing to the Lord. I face life’s changes anchored to the Unchanging One, the Lord who is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

God apparently uses changes to make us malleable. Those of us in our later seasons of life often find ourselves far from malleable. When applied to matter, malleable is defined as “capable of being extended or shaped by hammering or by pressure from rollers.” Ouch! What a painful analogy! When applied to people, the term is used to mean adaptable or tractable, open to change. Other synonyms are compliant, supple, flexible, and pliable. All are good spiritual attitudes. The word mallet comes from the same root and refers to a hammer-like tool usually made of wood. A judge’s gavel which is used to demand attention and order in court would be a mallet of sorts.

To the degree that I remain spiritually malleable, God can extend my horizons, teach me more of His truth, and shape me into the vessel which He envisioned I would be when He planned for my life before the foundation of the world. 

At the same time, God also created me with free will so that I can either resist His work in my life or accept it. The Lord doesn’t force me to receive His blessings or more of His truth. With love He draws me gently in that direction, but the choice is mine. If I wholeheartedly will to do His will and try to live in a state of grace surrendered to His leading, I open myself to receive His blessings in overflowing abundance. I become His instrument to draw others to Him.

If I drag my feet to obey and follow Him from afar, God may use gentle or not so gentle loving pressure to make me more malleable and shape me in His direction. It is not punishment; it is progress in transformation into the image of Jesus. 

"Whom the Lord loves, He chastens.” Can I say, “Thanks, Lord, I needed that!”

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