I seek to hear God’s voice every day through the practice of journaling. One of my favorite questions to ask God is, “What encouragement do you have for me today?” For what has seemed like months on end, I have been repeatedly hearing him give me the same response within my heart, “I’m not finished with you yet.”
The first few times I heard the Lord speak this to me, I welcomed his encouragement and thought, “That’s nice. God is not finished using me yet.” I interpreted his message to mean God had more for me to do. In essence, I thought he was saying, “Pierre, I am not done using you yet. I have greater things for you to accomplish.”
That’s an encouraging message! But in all honesty, there were times when I heard these words spoken to my heart and thought, “God, that is nice of you to say, but I am really feeling busy enough as it is right now. I could use some refreshment, not just the knowledge that there is more work for me to do!”
Then last week, it all changed. I heard the same message, “I’m not finished with you yet”, but I received a different revelation. The Holy Spirit took the same words and gave me an entirely new nuance and perspective. I now heard him saying to me, “I am not finished with YOU yet.” The emphasis was no longer what God was going to do through me; instead it was about what God wanted to do in me.
Immediately, my point of view shifted. I realized that the Lord was not trying to add more work to my already full plate. He was actually telling me that the work He is doing in my life, my character and my being was something He was not finished with yet. As Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)
The Lord then began to speak deeper into this area of work saying to me that the work He wants to do through me will always begin by the work He does within me. The inner work of our lives always precedes the outer working of our faith. God does a work within us that He then carries out through us, “for it is God who works in youto will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)
The same is true for your life. God, your heavenly Father, is interested in developing and shaping you into the image of his son Jesus Christ more than any other purpose he has for you. (Romans 8:29) Of course, God wants to see us do good works for his kingdom and be a blessing to the world. Yet, the way God works is that He changes us first by his grace and then takes the changed people we are to do good in the world around us. (See Ephesians 2:8-10)
After gaining this new understanding, I searched through my journal, which is stored electronically on my computer, and found that the first time I recorded him saying this to me was not just months ago, it was over two years ago! (It was Thursday, February 19th, 2015 to be exact!) It just goes to show that the Lord is truly committed to the work He is doing within us and will persist until He gets his message through – talk about patience!
So be encouraged, child of God! You have a Good Father who is committed to the process of making you more like his son Jesus, no matter how long it takes! His work within you, is greater than any work you will ever do for Him and it is also the source of all the work you will do in his name.
If you truly want to grow in your relationship with the Lord, be sure to pick up a copy of my book, Born to Grow. In this book, you will learn the four ways God wants to change you to become more like Jesus.