June 15 I Monday
“May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.”
—1 Thessalonians 5:23
The opening verse of this devotion begs these questions: Who is “the one” doing it? Who exactly will make us faithful for the day of the Lord Jesus Christ? The answer: God. He who called us is faithful and He will do it. We live by dependence and faith in His abilities and not our own abilities. We are just along for the ride.
Let me illustrate what I mean with this story. A couple years ago, I was down in Mexico visiting some of our mission partners who run an orphanage. We started to play a game of foosball—a game I used to love playing when I was in youth ministry. I dedicated many hours of my life to this expertise. Believe me, I am a better soccer player in foosball than I am in real life.
In this orphanage, I met a young boy, about six or seven years old, who was covered in bandages on one of his hands because he just had reconstructive surgery due to some of the abuse that he suffered in another foster home. He could only play with one hand and he was my partner; we were a team. As we played the game, this boy was not pulling his weight. I was basically doing all the work. He was just swinging his foosball rod and I do not think he even hit the ball once. Well, there was this one time when he did hit the ball but it went into our own goal...so, he was a liability. Nonetheless, we ended up dominating the game with the score of 10-2, completely crushing the other team.
I remember, every time we scored a goal, the boy lit up like he was the champion. We would high-five and then he would cheer and do a little victory dance. But in my mind, I was thinking, “You didn’t do anything. I am the one doing all the work. You were just there swinging your rod.”
Yet, I believe this is exactly what Paul was saying to the church in Thessalonica: Christ who called us into relationship with Him is going to do it. He is the one moving in our life and leading us. We may think we are controlling life as we spin our foosball rod but God is saying, “I’ve got this.” Joy comes when we start to key into the fact that God is in control and we do not need to be. We can live by faith in who He is and not by faith in our own efforts.
Prayer: Dear God, just when I think I am in control of my life, the truth is You are the only One who is truly in control of my life. Thank You that You are faithful to the one You called and You will do it. Amen.