Thursday, February 16, 2017

"Working In, Working Out"

"Working In, Working Out"   
   "It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).  Few promises of Scripture more prepare and enable born again believers to the life of faith and faithfulness to which our Heavenly Father calls us.  We must have confidence in our Lord's active involvement if we are to properly respond to Him, even as the Lord Jesus Christ described His earthly life: "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (John 5:17).  The indwelling Holy Spirit empowers us to "work out your own salvation" as the fruit of God working such grace in us (Philippians 2:12).

    Do we believe the promise?  Note that Paul does not qualify the fact of the Lord's working in us of a life that pleases Him.  God is acting accordingly.  Our experience, however, may ebb and flow in accordance with whether or not we trust the Word of God regarding the work of God.  Recall that during His ministry, the Lord Jesus found His own home country a place of distrust, and thus, of limited display of His power: "He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief" (Matthew 13:58).  The same can be true in our lives if we do not believe the plainly stated truth of Scripture regarding the Holy Spirit's active working in us.  We are now the Lord's "home country", as it were, and the display of His ability to lead us to a life whereby we please our Father requires our trusting engagement and submission to His truth.

   The spirits of born again believers teem with the indwelling and abundant life of "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27).  Our Lord is not merely sitting on a throne in our hearts.  He rather "walks" in us (II Corinthians 6:16).  The truth is true, regardless of whether we see or understand the freely given gift of such involvement.  We therefore do well to build an altar in our hearts if we have never done so, a place of grace whereupon we sacrifice ignorance and unbelief regarding the promise of God's working in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.  If we have already built the altar, we will at times need to return to remember and reaffirm the truth we have embraced.  The Lord Jesus promised "life more abundant" to all who believe (John 10:10).  He then suffered, died, rose again, returned to Heaven, and sent the Holy Spirit to indwell the church with the power of God.  Such enabling to please our Father resides in all of us in a spiritual vibrancy and measure "exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20).  No greater tragedy can occur than the failure to access such promise and power by faith.  God is working in us.  Nothing changes this blessed truth.  Our experience of such grace, however, requires our chosen confidence if it is to be said of us as it should, as it must: "He did many mighty works there because of their belief."

"By the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."
(I Corinthians 15:10)

Weekly Memory Verse 
   The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and godhead, so that they are without excuse."
(Romans 1:20)

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