"From Him, For Him"
If God did not "work in", we could not "work out".
"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:12-13).
The Apostle Paul's affirmation and assurance of God's powerful involvement in the hearts of born again believers provides one of the most important promises in Scripture. We live from our Lord in order to live for Him. We must believe this truth in the face of all contrary appearance, evidence, history, and feeling if we are to experience the power thereof. Failure to trust God accordingly will lead to the similar indictment of our own response to God as the New Testament directs toward the citizens of the Lord Jesus Christ's own country: "He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief" (Matthew 13:54-58). Through the indwelling Holy Spirit, we are now the Savior's "own country". Perish the thought that the indictment might be directed toward us.
A growing understanding and affirmation of God's mighty working on our behalf leads to a growing response of faith, faithfulness, and obedience. Again, we work out based upon God working in - and upon our confidence in the truth of His promised infusion of abundant life in Christ Jesus. Few promises of Scripture are more underemphasized than "it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure". Is our Lord actually doing this as He promises? In me? In you? If not, I write in vain, you read in vain, and the Bible becomes merely ink, paper, and a deceptive document unworthy of our consideration. Of course, God is doing exactly what He affirms through the Apostle Paul. In you, and in me. Thus, we must believe, and thus we must affirm the "exceeding, abundantly above… power that worketh in us" (Ephesians 3:20). Regardless of history, evidence, appearance, and feeling, the Word of God abides in Truth - we live from in order to live for. From the presence of the Spirit of Christ. From His dynamic involvement in our hearts, hands, and feet. From the faithfulness of His promises. From the power of His resurrection. From His love "shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5). For His glory. For His will. For His eternal purpose in Christ. Ever and always, we live from our Lord and from His promise in order to live for Him.
"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power."
Weekly Memory Verse
Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.