"Because God has made us for Himself, our hearts are restless until they rest in Him."— Augustine of Hippo
When God shows up in our lives, we begin to find rest and peace and purpose. All three of those are much needed in our lives and for the people we come in contact with each day. In fact I have noticed that people seem to lack more and more character as I get older ... kids seem to respect less, adults keep promises less, and on the list goes.
I've read and thought much about how God reveals Himself and refreshes my character:
Psalm 17 (GW - God's word translation)
3 You have probed my heart. You have confronted me at night. You have tested me like silver, but you found nothing wrong. I have determined that my mouth will not sin. 4 I have avoided cruelty because of your word. In spite of what others have done, 5 my steps have remained firmly in your paths. My feet have not slipped. 6 I have called on you because you answer me, O God. Turn your ear toward me. Hear what I have to say. 7 Reveal your miraculous deeds of mercy, O Savior of those who find refuge by your side from those who attack them. 8 Guard me as if I were the pupil in your eye. Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
David said this is a HEART issue. When we stop letting God deal with our hearts, we have huge problems with our character. Yet allowing God to test us and refine us, things will begin to change. Sin will become something we have less, and we will want more and more of God.
Let God build your character so that people will see God in your life. What happens when you character is strong? David said "my mouth will not sin" and "my feet have not slipped". No, we aren't perfect, but we are becoming more like Jesus.
Best part (I've got to stay calm because this is exciting to me) is that when God deals with and builds my character He begins to protect us more and guard us even more. That is not just guarding us from evil, but God guards us from the things that often barely influence us yet take us way off track. Which makes us more like Jesus too.
May God build my character, and may I know and show that my character rests in God!
Hebrews 1:3 (nlt)
The Son radiates God's own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command.
Romans 5:4 (nlt)
And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
Note: this was first sharing in April of 2009 and remains true