What used to make us stumble,God can use to make us stand.What once made us bow our heads in shame,He can use for His glory.~ Janice Weaver ~Having a Mary Spirit
God loves to redeem. He takes what is considered to be useless, worthless and of no further value and He makes it into something beautiful. Beauty from ashes. There are no "cast aways" with God. EVERY life is valuable. EVERY life is redeemable.
He makes all things new - this doesn't mean that He justs zaps us and makes us completely different. He didn't make a mistake when He created us as He did. Our characteristics are there for a reason - they have a specific purpose. But left to ourselves, we can really mess up. We look at the outward, God looks at our hearts. He knows whats inside.
My grandmother used to say, "We're not stubborn, we're determined!" A "strong-willed" person stands their ground - won't be moved - can't change their mind - can't budge them. Remember the expression "as stubborn as a mule"? We can be "stubborn" and "stiff-necked" - doing our own thing - doing it "my way." "NO ONE is going to tell ME what to do. I am FREE to do as I please." Wow. Can we ever get ourselves in a trouble. We are headed into rebellion.
The prodigal son could not be turned from his plan. He wanted his inheritance and he wanted it NOW. Then off he went. Money wasn't the answer. He made a huge mess. It sure didn't turn out the way he thought it would. But God!! God's plan for him never changed. When he "came to himself" - realized, "what am I doing??" - he returned home and his father restored him to his position in the family.
Stubborness redeemed becomes determination. Determination becomes perseverence, stedfastness, faithfulness. Look again: "stands their ground - won't be moved - can't change their mind - can't budge them." These same characteristics - when redeemed by God, when applied with our faith - bring a totally different result. When we have yielded our will to God, He uses those things for our GOOD. When we live by HIS ways, we will succeed and not make the same choices and mistakes as before.
Peter was like a loud-mouthed, strong-willed bully. God changed his heart as he yielded it to Him. It didn't happen all at once. He failed many times. He often "put his foot in his mouth." He acted impulsively. Many would have said, "Why choose him? How can anyone tame him? He's too far gone!" But God redeemed those same character qualities and shaped Peter into a strong leader. When he was restored, he could not be moved from his faith. He boldly spoke God's Word. He never backed down again. He could not be shaken, he could not be moved.
God uses our weaknesses to make us strong. He redeems them. He doesn't take away our ability to sin or make wrong choices. If WE allow Him to change our hearts and we choose to follow HIS ways, we will stand where we could not stand before.
We become a testimony to His Redeeming Power and bring glory to His Name. We no longer hang our heads in shame, wanting to hide our past mistakes. We say, "Look what the Lord has done in ME!!"
Then we are FREE - not to do as we please, but to live as God had planned for us to live. Free to walk out our destiny - God's plan for our lives. Free from past pitfalls - forgiven and restored. Free to be who God created us to be - REDEEMED!!
Allow God to redeem the areas of your life where you have stumbled. Don't let shame keep them hidden. When surrendered to God, He will redeem and give us the power to stand where we were weak. We will not hide in shame any longer.We will glorify our God.