In chemistry, a catalyst is a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being consumed or affected. A catalyst can also be a person whose energy causes others to become enthusiastic or lively. We like those people. We usually use the word to mean a person or thing that hastens an event or a change.
These definitions kinda describe God, wouldn’t you say? He is the cause of everything: the universe, life, beauty, goodness. Yet he is not depleted. Creation is suffused with his glory, but that wonder remains constant.
I am tempted to view God as the catalyst of our spiritual life; and I probably wouldn’t be incorrect. But the Apostle Paul goes a step further: he says God is our life. “I have been crucified with Christ,” he affirms, “and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). He meant not to be mistaken: who he was came by no power of his own. More than a catalyst, he understood God to be the sustaining process at work within him. He didn’t bear enough virtue of any kind to secure righteousness and do what only Christ in him could maintain.
He could be no blunter about it in Philippians 2:13, a marvelous passage: “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (NLT).
This message is what I hope to convey to seekers and saints in all stages: God does not simply wish to be the catalyst of your life; he desires to be your life, in all its fullness. If you’re on the outside looking in, knowing God is more than ‘getting your life together’ and ‘turning over a new leaf’. It’s radical transformation. God wants to show us what a life turned over to him can become.
So seeker, new Christian, or veteran one, give him all of you. That will be your highest worship.