One of the books on my “reading-in-progress” shelf is “Confessions” by Saint Augustine, a Christian writer who lived in the fourth and fifth centuries, some 1600 years ago. In this book, he gives his autobiography and describes how he ultimately came to faith in Christ. The section I read today gave me some food for thought, and I’d like to share that with you.
Augustine was a teacher for a good portion of his life. He was a lover of knowledge and often wanted to determine if there were a better philosophical perspective on life than the one he currently held. At the point in the book where I am today, Augustine is reflecting on some changes that led him to deeper faith and a transition in his educational career.
He is quick to point to the Lord as the one who is bringing about the positive changes in his life. He quotes Psalm 37:23 this way: “For the steps of man are directed by the Lord, and he chooses his way.” (If you look up this verse yourself, you’ll probably see it worded a bit differently. Remember that 1600 years can make a big difference in terms of how the language of the Bible is written!)
And then Augustine asks a powerful question of God: “How can salvation be obtained except through your hand remaking what you once made?”
This is the thought that stuck with me today. God has already shaped my life up to this point, and he is constantly reshaping me to become the person he needs me to be. In this truth, I can find salvation: if I were shaping myself, I would probably wind up being someone other than what God intends for me. But since the Lord is remaking me, a person whom he made in the first place, then I am saved from a life of worthlessness and destruction.
Fellow believers, allow yourselves to be shaped by the Lord on a daily basis. He will direct your steps and show you how to live! And in this process itself, we can experience real salvation. Thank God for his mighty work!