Philippians 3:12-14 (NLT)
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
My life is perfect. Just perfect. No, nothing has changed much since yesterday except maybe my attitude which is daily improving in the Knowledge of God through Jesus Christ. The perspective of our life has two definitive choices: life or death. That’s right – you are either alive or dead but you cannot be both. However, these two very different entities are naturally decided for those who live in the flesh and spiritually defined by those who have the Holy Spirit saved and washed in the Blood of Jesus Christ. There are many believers who don’t know how to live so they remain among the darkness that holds the dying and the lost. I know some people like that…I used to be one. No matter how good or bad each day was or the news of the hour something was always lacking. Never satisfied and always seeking more like many people I became dependent on my circumstances including every person associated with them to make my life perfect. There is no such thing. My flesh yearns to be gratified but is not concerned with contentment. Contentment is a process that will surely take time but when you are living a death sentence – you don’t have that kind of time. The mandate on my life according to Jesus Christ is to be perfect. (Matthew 5:48) However, like so many other folks sometimes I get lost in the idea of perfection rather than really understanding what it offers. I am imperfect. Sin cost the human race perfection and eternal life on this earth. Our youngest daughter came to understand what was lost in the Garden of Eden that day and according to her, “That stinks!” I agree. Life was simple and perfect in the beginning. Adam and Even were not successful business people with a luxurious mansion to live in or a Lexus parked in the driveway. Their children did not go to Ivy League Schools. In fact, there is no mention of gold, silver, money or wealth in that day. Adam and Eve were completely dependent on God! Everything was glorious until they decided that it wasn’t enough and set out on their own path of destruction abandoning destiny. Do not judge them too harshly. We do the very same thing. Abandoning the race of faith when it becomes hot in refinement, fatigued in endurance or when it is not the “it” thing to do – too often people miss perfection which is the completion of God! Jesus died so that we could be reunited with God and live in right-standing once more experiencing the Power and Glory of God in our life comes with an outpouring of His Spirit and His Promises in our life which makes life perfect…right? Well that depends on what you are after…
2 Samuel 22:31-37 (NLT)
“God’s way is perfect. All the LORD’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. For who is God except the LORD? Who but our God is a solid rock? God is my strong fortress and he makes my way perfect. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow. You have given me your shield of victory; your help has made me great. You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping.”
David was a man after God’s Heart. He just loved God. David was still a man who made many mistakes but the one thing that he did do right was remain faithful to God. Even in his faults and failures, he could stand separation from the Lord. David went from a lowly shepherd boy to King of Israel. David was committed to living God’s Way. God’s Way is perfect. God’s Word is perfect. (Psalm 19:7-8) God’s Peace is perfect. (Isaiah 26:2-4) The Peace of God is perfect. As his life unfolded the Favor of God blanketed David’s life, and he became legendary. David understood the importance of walking in God’s Way and if we will do the same our life will be perfected just like it. The direction of your life will not necessarily change abruptly but your outcomes will. It is all about trusting and believing in His Perfection that will make our life perfect.
I recently was struggling with trusting God financially. This usually is not a problem for me but somehow there was an overwhelming anxiety about money. With all the things going on in our life, I became fearful. Worry began to corrode my mind and rob me of sleep. As I prayed one day, I began talking to the Lord about this fear and how I loathed it. My faith was under attack and then it came to me. If I fail, fall down or am not well cared for then it is on God’s Shoulders as I have committed my life to following Jesus and being a Child of the Living God. If we are broke, then it looks like He is not providing well if we have done everything that His Word has said regarding our finances. We are tithers and have been for many years. We sow seed on a regular basis so there has to be a harvest somewhere. So rather than praying specifically for money or things, I began praying for the Word and Will of God to bear fruit in my life. As Malachi 3 instructs, we put God to the test and His Turn to honor His Word. I stopped worrying about every single upcoming obligation and unceremoniously shoved it on God’s To Do List. It was as though a burden had been lifted before anything happened. I asked God to send His Ministering Angels to go get and bring back our harvest. Well little did I know the power of such a prayer, it happened in a few days. Unexpected credits, sweepstakes, and blessings began pouring out of Heaven’s Windows. Specific needs met that no one but God could know and it all was just perfect.
Matthew 19:21 (NLT)
Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
It is ironic that the number one request and petition of most prayers is exactly what the Lord tells us to “go and sell” so we can give our life away and follow Him. The model of prayer demonstrated by Jesus Christ says clearly, “Your Kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” Seems clear enough perfection comes in doing the Will of God. Why is this so important? Well it makes sense because the Plan of God for our life has a future and hope leading to goodness and prosperity. (Jeremiah 29:11-13) All it requires is that we seek the Lord wholeheartedly and follow His Lead. This is a problem for a lot of people.
Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world…this is very important in a life pursing perfection God’s Way. God has to transform our thinking and renew our mind day by day so that we will release the preconceived notion of our life built by society and align it with the Will of God which is good, pleasing and perfect. By following this world’s pursuit of perfection, we assume God’s Responsibility for our life. We try to make everything work together for good. We try to work for our blessing and build our own shelter on the shifting sands of a dying world. There is no such thing as completion but only compromise. Satisfaction is sidetracked by substitutions. We like immediate gratification not really interested in true perfection. Without a change of heart and direction, it is impossible to follow the Lord to completion and perfection it is only achievable if we become like Jesus. Sin does not allow us to be perfect on our own but only through complete dependency on the Lord. Only God can make us perfect and complete. (Galatians 3:2-3) Perfection is only possible because Jesus Christ lives on the inside of us and works His Way out through our life. (Colossians 1:27-28) Leaving no detail out, He works it all together for those who love Him and have answered the call of righteousness. (Romans 8:28)
I Corinthians 13:9-13 (NLT)
Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
Our life is based solely on what we see and not on what we know because sadly most people do not spend much time getting to know the Lord. Partial knowledge is not enough to complete the process of perfection that God is working through your life. He wants you to have it all, but to do that we must know Him more. He moves us from glory to glory as we move deeper in His Presence through knowledge that builds our faith producing more hope to see past today into forever. The more real Eternity becomes to you the more temporary you realize the things of this world really are. In our humanity, our perspective is limited so we must rely on faith. The Lord puts in perspective in these verses…faith, hope and love are all that is eternal. Anything outside of that is a waste of time! God’s Word is perfect. But anything that is incomplete is less than perfect. Work to know Him more by looking for Him in the Word – it will lead you to perfection, wholeness and completion in the Lord.
James 1:3-4 (NLT)
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
Now comes the hard part, waiting on God. Faith is tested in the wait times of life. Endurance is stretched and begins to grow. Endurance is developed each time you choose to hang on and not give up. You are getting stronger from the inside out as the Lord is perfecting and completing your life so you will lack no good thing. The world will tell you that’s stupid and you must make your own way. But there is a great cloud of witnesses cheering you on, they have run the race of faith and won! They would not turn back or come back for anything!
Luke 14:28-30 (NLT)
“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’”
To commit only parts or segments of your life to perfection and completion in Christ will only lead to compromise. Count the cost. Completion means wholeness and it requires everything. You must submit your entire life to God if perfection is what you are after. You must have enough faith and trust to follow Jesus Christ even as the road grows narrower and the crowd thins out. You must hang on to the end for that is where the prize awaits you. Be careful who you listen to along the way because the enemy wants to distract you and detour your course. Only fool’s think that they can have God’s Way according to their own plan. God is not a liar and He does not change. He wrote every single moment of your life before you were born and by the Blood of Jesus you now can access that blueprint for life. But you must consider the cost when making such a commitment to avoid disappointment and devastating loss. “Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.”(2 Corinthians 7:1)
Job 1:1-3 (NLT)
There once was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless—a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil. He had seven sons and three daughters. He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area.
Job was a man considered to be blameless. He was a man of complete integrity. He had the perfect life according to most people as he was the richest person known in his land. However, not many people looking at the story now would desire his life. God is looking for those people with complete integrity who choose to live a blameless life under the Blood of Jesus Christ. Would you consider Job’s life to be perfect? By man’s description, not at all. But Job’s life was completely in alignment with God’s Plan for completion and perfection not a detail left out. The man suffered the horrifying loss of his entire family, his business and his wealth until even his health was failing, but through it all Job trusted the Lord and chose to remain faithful until the end. He would prosper as his soul prospered. Job would be completely restored and renewed receiving double for his trouble. This is life. It may be hard. You may experience devastating loss but if your faith remains intact, hope remains your perspective and you live a life of love – it will be just perfect!
Ephesians 3:18-20 (NLT)
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.