Thursday, July 6, 2017

Using the 4Ls, Part 23 – Becoming

After twenty long weeks, this series of posts returns to the the top of the spiral – my Vision statement. All of the posts between then and now have related to the support for the Vision – my Mission (objectives), my Strategy, and my Steps (the 4Ls). All of those pieces are what allow me to achieve the Vision. As a reminder, my Vision is:

To be the man God has called me to be. (Ephesians 4.1; Ephesians 5.1)

To be that man is a process – again, a process that includes Mission, Strategy, and Steps. But until that process is complete I am a work in progress. That is, the work has begun, but is not yet complete. As Paul wrote in Philippians 1.6, the process will not be completed until Jesus returns. I know that. I understand that. But that does not mean that I am to wait for that day and do nothing. Rather, sanctification is a process by which we partner with God. It is only a holy God that can make us holy, but as God has designed it, we must do our part too.

A State of Becoming

Thus, we are in a state of becoming. Again, “to be” the man He calls me to be is not my business. It is His. Only God truly knows what He wants from me. Only God knows what He has called me to be. And only God can make me into that person. Paul’s charge in the verses I have selected for my vision contain one verb that requires me to be active (walk, Ephesians 4.1) and one for God to do the work (be imitators, Ephesians 5.1).

The book of Ephesians can be split into two distinct parts. Chapters 1-3 are What to Believe and Chapters 4-6 are How to Live. Thus, after Paul shares principles about the truth of the gospel in the first half of his letter, he shifts his thinking to how to live by exhorting the believers to “walk” according to their beliefs. The word “walk” is translated from a Greek word which is in a verb tense that requires us to be active. That is, I am to do my part in walking according to what I believe or as the modern term suggests, to “walk the talk.”

On the other hand, in Ephesians 5.1, Paul instructs the reader to be an imitator of God. Here, the verb tense is one where the reader is passive. That is, as the reader imitates, God is the one who is really doing the work. The verb is about the reader (imitate God), but the action is done to the reader, not to God. Thus, the more we imitate God, the more He makes us more like Him.

When combining these two ideas, we see that the process of becoming the man God has called me to be requires me to act (walk as I should) and to be acted upon (as I imitate God). As I stated above, only God knows what He wants for me so it is only He who can truly shape me. But as I do my part (walk), I can trust He will do His part because it is He who called me.

Achieving the Vision
God already sees what the “completed” Andy will look like. I do not. But my Mission, Strategy, and Steps are all designed to help me “walk” as I should. Each of these aspects is built on Scripture which, as I apply to my life, should help me to better imitate God. I realize I will not fully achieve my Vision on this side of eternity, but I assure you what I “see” is already a vast improvement on who I was in the past. The process continues, and will continue as long as I am on this side of eternity. And while I will never achieve my vision, ultimately it is what I receive from God that matters. I will be completed as a gift from Him just as my salvation and calling were also received as part of His grace.

Next week, I will go a little further with this concept and focus on what I believe becoming that certain man means for me.

Prior Posts:
4L – Matthew 4.19 –
4L – Matthew 28.19 –
4L – Spiral –
4L – Vision –
4L – Mission –
4L – Strategy –
4L – Steps –
4L – Learn –
4L – Live –
4L – Love –
4L – Lead –
4L – BackUptheSpiral –
4L – HelpMeLEARN (Love) –
4L – HelpMeLEARN (Exercise) –
4L – HelpMeLEARN (Action) –
4L – HelpMeLEARN (Read) –
4L – HelpMeLEARN (Nurture) –
4L – HelpMeLEARN (Summary) –
4L – HelpFulfillMission –
4L – HelpFulfillMission (Item 1) –
4L – HelpFulfillMission (Item 2) –
4L – HelpFulfillMission (Item 3) –
4L – HelpFulfillMission (Item 4) –
4L – ParentheticalPost –

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