"To Will and To Do"
"It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).
The Apostle Paul's promise to believers regarding our God's motivating and empowering work in us may be one of the more under-believed promises in the Bible. Our senses, emotions, and experiences often seem to belie a Lord who, rather than sit upon a throne in our hearts, walks and works in us to empower a life of faith and faithfulness (II Corinthians 6:16). Is God working in us to will and to do of His good pleasure? Is He doing so right now, regardless of condition, circumstance, and situation? Will He do so forevermore, based on the promise of His Word?
In principle and doctrine, we may answer yes. However, as mentioned in yesterday's message, God's "He is" and "I am" must become our personally affirmed "You are." We must believe the promises of God in order to avoid the tragic indictment directed toward the Lord's home country: "He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief" (Matthew 13:58). No promise more calls us to the confidence that affirms our Lord's faithfulness than the assurance of His working in us "both to will and to do of His good pleasure." Past experiences, current emotions, and future expectations do not change the Word of God. He is working in His trusting children both to will and to do, including you and me. "Thou art my strength" (Psalm 31:4).
We do well to build an altar in our hearts to sacrifice any notion that counters this plainly declared promise of God. Or we may need to revisit an altar already formed to remember and reaffirm our confidence in the "power that worketh in us" (Ephesians 3:20). The same Spirit that "moved upon the face of the waters" in creation now moves upon the face of our hearts to enable a life lived for the glory of God (Genesis 1:2). To the degree we believe and devote ourselves to expecting our Lord's mighty working in us will be the degree to which we experience such a promised infusion of grace. The Truth is true, regardless of our faith or unbelief. May it not be said of us that our unbelief hindered our Lord's working, but rather that He did "many mighty works" because we believed His promise of grace...
"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
For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.