When God Says “Until” (Part 2)

Last time, I mentioned three things that you imply when you say the word “until,” and talked about the first…
1. The outcome is sure.
2. BUT the outcome is not immediate; we must wait.
3. The situation we wait for will replace the situation that exists now.

And now for PART 2: Not Immediate, But Inevitable

Think back to when you had a child or younger sibling or cousin who had not learned to walk. Babies are not born with the ability to walk, but most have the capacity to walk. They just have to develop enough physically and neurologically. So the question someone asked, the one that started my whole word study, is this:

How long do you continue helping your baby learn to walk?

The answer, of course, is “Until he/she is walking.” No parent will answer with a deadline: “Up to fourteen months old, and that’s it.”

And no one keeps Baby buckled in a car seat all the time, until 11 or 12 months of age, and then takes him out, expecting him to start toddling all at once. There’s a process, one that usually involves crawling and “standing” supported on adults’ laps and pulling up and cruising and falling down a lot.

God also uses a process to bring about his “untils.” If you wake up at 4:00 in the morning, it’ll be dark (at least here in the Southern US). But you don’t have to wonder whether God is about to flip a switch to “turn on the sun” at 4:05, or whether it will stay pitch dark until 10:30. That’s because the earth is constantly rotating toward the next sunrise. You can count on it growing light pretty close to the same time as it did yesterday.

In the same way, God is in the process of growing those who trust him for salvation. As Paul writes in his letter to the Romans, chapter 8 verse 29, God predestined them “to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He [Jesus] would be the firstborn of many brethren.” (The word “become” suggests the process; “predestined” and “would be” suggest the inevitable outcome.)

Oh, and about my brilliantly original sunrise analogy, God already used it — in Proverbs 4:18…

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.

For me, the most exciting reference to this process is in 2 Corinthians 3:18:

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory…

“From glory to glory…” step by step, all of them glorious. And Paul further encourages us that this bright outcome is inevitable. In Philippians 1:6 he writes,

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

However much we mess up, God is always in the process of changing his faith children, making us more like his Son. It’s his power that does this, not our efforts. (See Jude, v. 24-25).

Of course, the more we cooperate with him, the less painful the whole process is. But don’t feel discouraged if you slip up or get tired along the way. He never gives up on you.

It’s all part of the process.

Thanks for reading,

The final post in this series is now up: PART 3: “Until” also means letting go. I hope my Soli Deo Gloria sisters and Company Girls friends will find it useful!


About Jan C. Johnson

Welcome! If you like food, reading, laughing over life's little disasters, and maybe thinking about the bigger things of life, you have come to the right place. Besides blogging, I write humorous fiction, though real life tends to leave fictional humor in the shade. But I'm not a total goofball. No, really. I'm also working on a biography project. I live in North Texas with my husband, Brent. We enjoy bicycling, Mexican food, and traveling to visit our kids and grandkids.
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9 Responses to When God Says “Until” (Part 2)

  1. Pingback: When God Says “Until” (Part 1) | Joywriting: Everybody Has a Story

  2. II Corinthians 3:18 is one of my favorite verses!


  3. I love these thoughts — about UNTIL — I have often thought of the baby learning to walk analogy to our learning to walk with Jesus. The process. We get so frustrated with the process but I love the picture of the sunrise…it is a natural, expected process. Looking forward to the next installment!


  4. kerriedw says:

    Wow. The process sure is important. Thanks for sharing – just stopping by for Company Girls Coffee. 🙂


  5. It is all part of the process. I’m so glad that He loves me deeply and completly through every step!
    Blessings on your day!


  6. Jan I just realized that you are with wordpress, and that is why I haven’t seen your posts in my side reader…most likely because of the GFC discontinue. I’m following you via email now!


  7. Jan, I loved your talk on this a couple of weeks ago…and your post today really reminded me to trust that God’s outcome is sure!! I get so impatient sometimes and I need to remember that it is a PROCESS. Thank you!


  8. joyceandnorm says:

    Can’t wait for the next part of the series. “Not Immediate, But Inevitable.” Love that. I’m memorizing Romans 8, and I’m gaining so much from seeing how God has called us to adoption as His son, but in that process of adoption, there is a period of waiting. “Not Immediate, But Inevitable.”


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