I love this saying by Joyce Meyer, "I'm not where I need to be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be." It's true. You might feel like you can't ever get to where you need to be because of where you started out or where you're at now. But I'm here to tell you that you can. It won't be overnight. There will be failures and hardships and things God might ask you to let go of but there also will be blessings and changes for good and victories won and ultimately our destination reached.
Zechariah 4:10, "Do not despise these small beginnings, for The Lord rejoices to see the work begin..."
2 Corinthians 3:18 translated in the Amplified Bible says we are changed from one degree of glory to the next. One degree may not seem like much at the time but in reality it's a steady progression to a life that reflects the glory of God. "All of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of The Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another..." If you read through chapters 3 and 4 we see that it is not without hardship that we accomplish this. But in the end, Chapter 4:16-18, " That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever."
How do we fix our gaze on the things we cannot see now? We keep our focus on our goals, the things we want to accomplish that may not have come to pass yet. Maybe it's giving up a habit that we know is harmful to us, either in body or spirit. The goal isn't reached yet, but we keep our eyes on the prize. I think the surest way to do that is by keeping our eyes on Jesus. He knows how to get us to our destination. If we spend time with Him and keep focused on Him, He will constantly keep us moving in the right direction for our lives - even when it doesn't seem so because we can't observe anything visibly different yet. One degree to the next, remember?
What does "spending time with Jesus" look like? Does it mean being in church 24/7? It can be lots of different ways and it doesn't have to be one more daily chore to get out of the way. I love my personal time with God! I feel refreshed and complete and ready for what I know I need to do. I don't always make it every day and that's ok. When I go too long without Him though, I really start to feel the difference and I don't like it! What gives you encouragement? Do you feel blessed when you listen to a worship CD or a Christian teacher? What gives you life? We can be still with God, listening, or pour out our hearts to Him. We can read His Word, which is the surest way to have Him speak to us, but perhaps you might not know where to begin. Get a teaching series or study book that interests you and see what He says to you out of it. There are infinite ways that God will speak to us if we'll let Him. Obviously, the material we choose will have an impact on us so I recommend teachers that are Bible-based, that do not distort The Word of God or exalt themselves. Check my Resource Tab to see a list of excellent teachers that were very helpful to me when I decided to start seeking God's will for my life.
I like what it says in the beginning of 2 Corinthians chapter 4 through verse 7, "Therefore, since God in His mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort The Word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this. If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, Who is the exact likeness of God. You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, Who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves."
Use these verses as the standard to get started or continue on your journey with God. You'll be SO GLAD that you did!