Read the Directions: Some Assembly Required

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. – II Peter 1:3-8

I have had varying success with putting things together over the years; toys for the kids, furniture for the new apartment and more car parts than I could list here.  The worst are the items that come with poor directions or no directions at all.  A simple piece out of place is the difference between celebration and defeat.  In fact, the quality of the directions and ease of assembly are often rated on websites like Amazon.  It works out much better with good instructions, good tools and good products.

However, it is another story when I am expecting to pull something out of the box that is ready to go and instead spend time and effort putting it together. It can be frustrating for us in our walk with God.  When we have those powerful, transformational moments with Him, we expect everything to be different and better.  It was frustrating when I would have an encounter with God and the world didn’t seem to care.  I had not learned that more assembly was required.

When we have those moments, with some exceptions, it is more like the box has been opened, the tools have been provided and the directions are available, but we need to put in the time and effort to get things assembled; it is crisis and process.  When we are disciplined about the process, we are taking on qualities “in increasing measure.”  God has supplied the tools and materials, and even guides and directs us through His Holy Spirit, but we need to get busy assembling to be effective and productive.

The next time you have one of those encounters with God that shakes you up and reorients your vision, keep this in mind.  Live with the expectation that our life with him will always be marked with the directions “some assembly required.”  And take comfort in the promise of Philippians 1:6, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

2 responses to “Read the Directions: Some Assembly Required”

  1. This was excellent, Chris. You really put it in a way that opened my eyes to that verse. If I haven’t put things all together yet, I can’t expect “it” to work very well. Not with missing parts.
    Thank you and God bless all that you are working on with Him!

    • Thanks Debbie. I am enjoying this series and the new angle it is giving me on different passages. I am hoping that whenever I see those directions in their normal locations, I will think about these posts.

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