Sometimes people ask me how I come up with the different topics I present and there really isn't anything too creative about it to be honest. I'm an auditory learner and often times I will hear a phrase in a song, sermon, or on tv and it will echo in my ears for days. Sometimes that's a gift and sometimes it can drive me up a wall.
The other day the phrase that I couldn't stop replaying was, "author and perfecter of our faith". I really got stuck on "author and perfecter". The phrase comes from Hebrews 12:1-3 which says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."
Jesus is the author and the perfecter. As someone who enjoys writing, (I'm still not sure if blogging allows me the privilege of calling myself a writer), I understand that authoring something means rewrites and edits. It's crucial in the writing process to mold words like clay to bring thoughts in to the best shape and form possible for the reader. Writers want to convey an idea and inspire their readers by crafting the best sentences possible. So I got to thinking and questioning, "Does God rewrite and edit our lives if He is the author?"
Some folks shy away from God because this is exactly what they imagine: a writer who adds plots twists and surprise endings. Some assume just as their life is getting really good, God decides to shake things up and throw in some drama and tragedy. I'm not really sure that's how it works. In fact, Scripture tells us over an over that God has a purpose for our lives. That He knew us before we were in our mother's womb and that He has good things in store for us. The bad stuff and drama comes from the fact that we are part of the fallen world in which sin is still present. We even learn from stories like Joseph's that God will even make something good come from the evil that we've encountered in life.
So what about rewrites and edits? If God has written our story long before our birth then the words on our pages don't necessarily change. The purpose of our lives is set. What often needs to be edited and rewritten is our response to God's work in our life. God's Word never changes but ours certainly should. Instead of lying in bed ignoring His call, we must call out, "Yes, Lord!" when He calls. And when given the choice to follow the Lord or follow the world He allows to make the choice...remember those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books!? Sometimes it isn't a directional choice we need to make but the decision to praise Him and thank Him even though we'd like to grumble and complain. The game changers are our responses to God's work in our lives.
Jesus is the Author and Perfecter who has crafted a beautiful message in the story of our lives. Our part is to make sure our responses to Him are loving and in line with His will - we achieve that by laying aside the weights of the world and the sin that holds us down...even if it requires several drafts to get it right.