Recently, while riding the public transit system I overheard heard two young women talking and one said to her companion “I am a work in progress” and it kicked off a chain of thought. Progress suggests that you have advanced (come) a measurable distance from one point to another. You have not made it to your destination or achieved the goal just yet, but you have reached a mark on your chart. Her tone of voice told me she was indeed the project and not some obscure task at work or home. I could not resist asking aren’t we all works in progress?
The cliché “God isn’t finished with me yet,” is frequently heard when Christians attempt to justify their shortcomings as one of God’s personal projects. We have personal projects that take a variety of forms in our lives, at home, on the job or in the gym—weight loss is a popular project. The project may involve a character flaw, questionable behavior or a spiritual deficiency. I know me, and I confess that there are several projects in my life, each in a separate stage, that I have made progress with but I’m not finished with them yet.
As a middle-age man I have learned if you want the same results keep doing the same things. But, if you want different results then you must be willing to do something different. For so long we have been listening to so many religious words, doctrines and teachings of men until the word of God has been drowned out. When the Gospel of Jesus cannot be heard above the roar of the crowd it’s a good sign it’s time to separate from the crowd. If we were to break the chains of religious religion and religiosity the Spirit of God would come upon us and spiritual progress would bud, bloom and blossom in our life.
I believe every time we choose to believe God alone, we allow the Holy Spirit freedom to begin to develop godly character within us. “For if there be first a willing mind,” and I will add, an open heart we can progress spiritually. If you do not see a change in you it is because you are not willing to change. In the beginning I did not see anything but I felt a change in me. Furthermore, I believe no change internal or external equals no progress; you must be willing to change in order to experience progress.
The apostle Paul said “Brethren I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:13-14). Paul is saying there comes a time when you must realize what and who matters, who never did, who won’t anymore and who always will. So, don’t worry about people and things from your past, there is a reason why they are not in your future.
Keep reaching and pressing forward you can reach your goal and receive the prize. Yes, we all are works in progress and no, God is not finished with us yet. That realization my friends is progress, realizing that there is a prize at the end of the progress rainbow. Progress, personal and spiritual is the high calling of God, less me, more Jesus and a willing mind. Be blessed and bless someone in Jesus’ name.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ