(Friends: I can count on two hands (maybe one!) the occasions we have sent out a devotional on Sunday. However, in conversing with a dear friend yesterday about the subject matter below, I remembered I had written this. I was able to dig it up, and I send it because we have quite a few preachers on our mailing list. The theme seems pertinent to them, but actually it relates to everything believers are called to do in this life and forevermore. Everything. Thanks to Fred Carlson for motivating me to send this today. Glen).
"Have To? Get To!"
By the working of His Spirit in hearts of born again believers, the Lord transforms responsibility into privilege.
"It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).
As we seek to do the will of God, He enables us to function according to His leading and enabling, as opposed to operating by our own devices. "Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might" (Ephesians 6:10). Thereby duty becomes delight, even as we experience the challenges and sacrifices of fulfilling our responsibilities. However, it is not inevitable that we will avail ourselves of such grace. We can still act as if we are merely ourselves, attempting to live our lives by the frailty of our human capacities.
"Are ye not yet carnal and walk as men?"
(I Corinthians 3:3)
In other words, do we live as if we are merely human, as opposed to the truth that believers are human as inhabited by the Divine, namely, the Spirit of the risen Lord Jesus Christ? Paul referenced "the exceeding greatness of His power" in those who believe (Ephesians 1:19). Moreover, he prayed that God might be glorified by "the power that worketh in us," a power that is "exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20). When we respond to such grace in knowledge, faith, and confidence, we avail ourselves of the enabling that, changes "I have to" into "I get to!"
A sense of drudgery regarding our privileged responsibilities means two things. Either we are not actually doing what the Lord would have us do, and therefore cannot avail ourselves of His power. Or, we have forgotten that He calls us to "labor, striving according to His working" (Colossians 1:29). Such enabling does not mean that we will not feel the physical, mental, and emotional strain of self sacrificial effort. It rather promises that we will do what we do in the strong sense of witnessing the effort of Another who blesses us no less than the beneficiaries of our labors. He blesses us more, in fact, as we find ourselves empowered in a measure far beyond our human means. "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). Thereby responsibility becomes privilege, the blessing of witnessing Christ walking in us and working in us to fulfill our hearts even as He benefits others through us. Have to? Get to!
"We pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power."
(II Thessalonians 1:11)
Weekly Memory Verse
"When Thou saidst, Seek ye my face, my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek."