God’s Finishing School

Holy scrutiny is both, unavoidable and awesome. The closer we get to the piercing light of His love, the more exposed we feel. An instant after exposure comes the covering of Grace and the sublime sense and knowing of acceptance via unconditional love! Holy Scrutiny is what I call “finishing school.” And Love is the under-girding lesson of all the courses of life in Jesus

For years I had the mistaken notion that I was finished with school… not by a long shot. Not finished. Nope; still in finishing school instead! My experience with God is that He, Holy Spirit, is a teacher, “par excellant” and will not be dissuaded by any of my growth issues.

Let’ see how Scripture ways in on this?

And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.Philippians 1:6

He doesn’t stop pursuing us. I thought only young women and aspiring debutantes went to finishing school. You know, where you are trained in cultural-social graces and activities. Granted, my cultural and social graces are somewhat limited-well, okay, very limited. But, come on Papa-“finishing school?” Yes Son, finishing school.

So, I asked the obvious question… What exactly do you mean by “finishing school?” Of course, true to form… I got much more of an answer than I bargained for. I can imagine that your experience with Papa is just as surprising-no, serendipitous as mine. Don’t ever ask God a question that you aren’t ready for a big answer for. Son, I desire for you to finish the race complete, whole, and strong-with a unified heart. I had no idea how fractured my heart was. David asked for the same thing in his prayer recorded in Psalm 86:11.

Teach me your way, O Lord;
and I will walk in your truth;
Unite my heart to fear your name.

There are four distinct problems with that prayer. Learning His ways, walking in His truth, having your heart united and fearing His name are all challenging to our comfort zone-to say the least. Most of us have the mistaken notion that we know His ways. Nothing could be further from reality. I have walked with Jesus for forty+ years and am just now beginning to have understanding about His ways. I am learning that His way involves shaking and baking. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken and what remains will be purified in the furnace of His loving correction. I must add that His ways are best and bring Him the most Glory.

This “finishing school” process also includes getting acquainted with “truth and wisdom in the inner parts” The “inner parts” are often clouded with unresolved and unhealed issues. The longer we walk with Him the more light is shed on our inner parts. Holy scrutiny is both, unavoidable and awesome. The closer we get to the piercing light of His love, the more exposed we feel. An instant after exposure comes the covering of Grace.

Learning the truth about our self is always balanced by what my friend Alan Smith calls… LOVE, the truth that trumps all other truth. Eugene Peterson puts it this way in The Message.

We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know that troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert to whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary-we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! (Romans 5:3-5).

Got It? We will!

Copyright by Ron Ross.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Rev. Ron Ross is a pastor, author, teacher, and counselor.
As founder of NET Casting Ministries, he equips the church
around the world to care for the wounded and addicted.
Ron is a cofounder of the NET Training Institute.

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