When God sent the flood He said the whole earth was filled with evil all the time. Now we are thinking that was then and now it’s not so bad. Perhaps, we were the same as them before we got saved and as a result we spend most of our Christian lives shedding sin like a second skin. This gives us a clearer understanding why Jesus had to cover all our sins in one event; getting free from sin takes so long to accomplish. Jesus wiped the debt of sin from our account so we would be clean in the eyes of the Father and would be allowed to have the Holy Spirit take us through the cleansing process.
Little by little, touch of God by touch of God, do we start to emerge from thinking of worthless things all the time. Gossip, envy, jealousy, anger and selfishness sucking the life right out of us. These are the things we were busy doing before Christ. Many of you are aware that it takes a long time to actually forgive and forget everyone and not just say the words. Then to distance ourselves from unforgiveness is the completed lesson. To become separated from the things that made us part of this world and be separated unto God for holiness.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.
8 It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.
Most of us have a desire to understand how this all works and what to do next, but in so many areas we must acknowledge that we don’t understand. We must approve of God’s ways, even when we can’t comprehend them.
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55 tells us why we often don't understand what God is doing: "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'" God sees the whole picture, while we only see our tiny corner of it. To trust in the Lord with all our heart means we can't place our own right to understand above His right to direct our lives the way He sees fit. When we insist on God always making sense to our finite minds, we are setting ourselves up for spiritual trouble.
Our limited understanding can easily lead us astray.
25 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. When we choose to direct our lives according to what seems right to us, we often reap disaster. Every culture has tried to get God to approve of its definition of right and wrong, but God never changes and His standards never change
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
Every person must make a decision whether to live his or her life according to personal preference or according to the unchanging Word of God. We often will not understand how God is causing "all things to work together for good", but when we trust Him with all our hearts, we know that He is. He will never fail us.
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
As with everything, if we are proactive with our efforts to let God change us there will be results and over time significant changes within us occur. If we do nothing or are lazy in our efforts, we wind up in Christian mediocre land with a billion other Christians. They will likely all get to heaven but there won’t be much fruit for the Lord to see. Little fruit, little reward... that’s the way it will go. Like the story of the talents or money a man was given, will we bury the gifts or use them to further the Kingdom.