emilynisch

A Workman Approved by God

In Uncategorized on June 23, 2009 at 11:22 am

This morning I was reading 2 Timothy and came across this verse:

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

For the past several months God’s been taking me on a very pointed journey of learning to keep my life clean before him. This means not going to bed angry, confessing my sins to God and someone else, resolving divisions that have come up between fellow Christians (as far as it depends on me) – basically doing what the bible instructs.

This verse in Timothy defined for me what I’ve been learning to do.

What I’ve been experiencing as I choose to turn away from the darkness in myself and choose God’s life instead is a knowledge and feeling of rightness before God. I know I was ultimately made right before God when I became a believer – but I’m still in the process of being made holy (sanctification). 2 Timothy 20-21 says:

20In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

I’ve discovered that as I choose to cleanse myself and allow God to cleanse me of the “wood and clay” in myself, I feel more and more like “A workman who does not need to be ashamed.”

The point here isn’t that the workman knows everything there is to know about God; it isn’t that he has been cleansed of everything and has finished the process of sanctification. The point is that as God points things out to me (his workman), I agree to acknowledge those things and repent of them and work through them with God. The point is that my conscience is clean because as the Spirit convicts me and makes me aware of something in myself (there are a lot of things God will eventually refine out of me that he hasn’t made me aware of yet) I say “yes, that’s true, I’ll follow your leading” and do as the Spirit and the Bible instruct.

A workman doesn’t need to be ashamed when he has done everything he’s been told to do. My job as a workman of God is to respond to him (as he speaks to me personally, through the bible, etc); my job is to obey what he brings up to me. This is following him. He takes me bit by bit down the journey that he is using to transform me.

Inasmuch as I say ‘yes’ to this journey, I know God is approving of the way I’m walking. There’s nothing for me to be ashamed of, because I’m faithfully bringing what’s dark in me into the light. So, I don’t need to fear that something will be exposed that I should be ashamed about. I’m already choosing to expose everything to God. There’s still darkness in me that I don’t even know about yet, but God’s hiding it until the right time.  As long as I’m dealing with the darkness in me as God instructs me to, I’m in his will. I’m safe there. If my conscience is clean before God, then there’s nothing for me to be ashamed of.

I think that living this way flows into learning how to handle the truth correctly. If you’re really seeking God and acknowledging your sins to him and learning to work through them, he’s able to work out everything in you toward more truth.

Of course – it says that the workman “correctly handles the word of truth.” This is important. This verse is talking about someone who’s sharing God’s word of truth with others. When you’re saying ‘yes’ to everything I just talked about, your humility grows as well. You become more aware that you’re sinful and God is good and holy – and that nonetheless you don’t need to be ashamed of anything because you’re working out anything you’d be ashamed of with God. He’s sovereign in that process and your trust is in him. As you’re giving glory to him in your own life for healing you of everything you become aware of and helping you when you rely on him, you learn to give glory to him when you share the word of truth, you learn to rely on him in your lack (and have grace for others to do the same) and handle what you’re sharing with reverence – knowing also that in your yet-incomplete sanctification, God is approving of you and so you have nothing to fear.var 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