For a few seasons of my life I served as an English teacher which is probably why I occasionally get fixated on words. I especially find myself listening intently to what people say (as well as to what they don’t say because both are very enlightening).
I am particularly intrigued when people talk about the blessings of God and what He has done for them. Indeed, as the author of Lamentations wrote, His mercies are new every morning and great is His faithfulness. Personally, if I wake up, I count it a good day. If I am able to get up and ambulate without assistance or much pain, I call it a great day!
I once had a job that necessitated me rising VERY early every morning (somewhere around 3:00 a.m.). I would leave home about 4:15 a.m. to drive to my office. I dreaded every morning, so I used to focus on thanking God all along the way. “Thank you for running water. Thank you for hot and cold water at my fingertips. Thank you for inside plumbing. Thank you for showers and toothbrushes. Thank you that I have teeth to brush. Thank you for sight. Thank you for road signs. Thank you for letting me learn to read.” It might sound ridiculous, but I found it particularly strengthening and encouraging and I found that it gave me a different connection with God which was especially comforting as I parked and walked dark streets that were milling with unique characters at 5:00 a.m.! (I had to go to work. Why were these people on the street at that time of the morning?!!!)
But back to my point. (I really do have one!). We cannot dispute that God has blessed us. If He doesn’t do one more thing for us, we really can have no complaint. What I find intriguing is how often people talk about what God has done for them as opposed to what He has done in them. Both words are prepositions but what a difference.
In Ezekiel 36 we read that God will give us a new heart and put a new spirit in us while removing our heart of stone. Ephesians 4 says that we receive a new nature to be like God, truly righteous and holy and II Corinthians says the Lord makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image. This is what God does in us, and this is the testimony we must share – to encourage fellow believers and to draw non-believers to Him.
In I Samuel 16:7 (NASB) we are reminded that man looks at the for – “the outward appearance,” but the Lord looks at the in – “the heart.” Today as you think of your relationship with Him, what will you look at?