One of the sad realities of buying or receiving something new is the concept of maintenance.
Whether it’s a new house, bike, a car, a computer, a phone or even clothes, you’re going to have to maintain it. Otherwise it is, inevitably, in the best case, going to lose its efficiency, and in the worst case, its utility.
The paint starts to peel off, walls start to crack, engine oil needs to be changed, brakes need to be tightened, drives need to be formatted, batteries need to be replaced, and tears need to be mended.
And you’re going to get it done – especially if it’s something you value – if it’s something you’ve spent a lot of time or money on, you’ll be willing to keep spending to make sure it keeps functioning. Irrespective of whether you bought something with your own money, or it was gifted to you, it is you who needs to maintain this possession, or take it to someone who can maintain it.
Let me say that again – YOU need to maintain what you OWN. Your car cannot maintain itself. Your house cannot fix itself. You need to do it or get it done.
Frustrating isn’t it? But here’s why it’s good news when it comes to you –
Once you know you’ve been purchased by God, you realise He owns you…and you need maintenance. The good news here is that like your possessions, you cannot maintain yourself.
When you still struggle with sin – with addiction, anger, impatience, pride, unforgiveness, resentment, lust, anxiety, fear, there is absolutely nothing you can do to ‘work on these’ or ‘fix them.’ Oh, you can try. But I guarantee you – you’re going to fail. No one is going to disappoint you more than yourself.
You know who fixes you? God does.
He purchased you, didn’t He? Even when the cost was way too high – the death of His own Son. Do you really think He’ll leave you be after buying you at that price? He will work on you – He will work in you – and then, He will work through you.
So if I don’t try to be a better person, what am I supposed to do? Doesn’t that just give me an excuse to go on being angry and proud and what not? No! You do what your bike would do when it needs to be fixed. Be still, or dare I say, shut up and let Him fix you.
Abide in Him. Spend time with Him. Let people take you to Him. Ask Him to work in you. Keep asking. He will answer – He owns you, remember? He wants you to be fully functional – in joy. And you’ll realise, you won’t even have to work on being humble. You won’t have to work on being joyful or patient or kind. You’ll want to forgive and you will want to love.
That’s the beauty of the Cross. It’s not by works that we’re saved, but by grace. And this is how He maintains us – complete undeserved grace.
“For He will be like a blazing fire that refines metal, or like a strong soap that bleaches clothes. He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the LORD”Malachi 3:2a-3