works it in us
week I thought that I would write about one of my
favorite scriptures in the Bible. It is found in
the book of Philippians: "For
God is at work in you both to will and to do of
His good pleasure." Phil. 2:3 NIV.
Many times in our Christian
walk we lose site of the fact that the work that
God asks of us, He also works into
us. It is not so much that we are working for God,
but that He is working through us. Thus, the works
are by His grace and not through our natural human
effort (or flesh).
This may sound too easy,
yet this is exactly what Jesus meant when He said
"Come unto me, all ye
that labour and are heavy laden, and
I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you,
and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For
my yoke is easy and my burden is light"
The work of God is not meant
to be performed in our own strength. By abiding
in Christ, He inspires and enables us to do what
He calls us to. The promise is that He will work
it in us both to will and to
do. This is a wonderful thing. Paul called
it a mystery: "...this
mystery among the gentiles; which is Christ in
you, the hope of glory."
We simply walk in that which
God calls us to do in His grace. As it is written:
"For we are His workmanship (i.e.
not our own)
created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God
hath before ordained that we should walk
in them." Ephesians 2:10.
This verse states that we
simply "walk in them." It doesn't say
that we strive in them or work them up, but walk
in them. This walk could involve some sacrifice
and may not be easy on the flesh nature, but it
will always be graceful to the spiritual person
within us. It will be easy from the inside out because
Christ Jesus is the Author of it. As it says in
Ezekiel 36:27NIV: "I
will put my Spirit in you and move you to
follow my decrees" and again in Zechariah
4:6 "Not by might, nor by power but by my
Spirit saith the Lord of hosts."
You see, our hearts are
much like a sail boat. All we need to be is open
to the Lord and put up our sail. It is the wind
that does all the work. As written in the Psalms:
"I will cry unto God
most high; unto God that performeth all things
for me." Psalm 57:2.
Jesus Himself said "Verily,
verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing
of himself, but what He seeth the Father
do: for what things soever He doeth, these also
doeth the Son likewise." John 5:19.
This is an amazing statement.
Jesus is declaring His absolute dependence on the
Father. Think of it. There were many people in need
of healing in Jesus' time, yet Jesus did not run
around frantically in His own power to heal them.
He kept His eyes on the Father and healed only those
to whom the Holy Spirit led Him or brought His way.
He knew that His Father was in control of all things
and trusted in Him.
The Lord does not want our works for Him to be dead
works of striving in the natural energy. Many a
Christian has been led astray by this error. Tired
of trying to live up to the "Christian"
performance they often fall away, burned out and
resentful. Little do they understand that they have
been trying to earn their favor with God instead
of receiving His love and grace freely.
Instead, our works are to
be the fruit of a life of abiding in Christ. This
is the work that will have lasting results and keep
us in close relationship with Him and in love with
much more shall the blood of Christ, who through
the eternal Spirt, offered Himself without spot
to God, purge your conscience from dead works
to serve the living God?" Hebrews 9:14.
in me and I in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit
of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more
can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye
are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in
him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for
without me ye can do nothing." John 15:4-5.
way you look at it, it still comes down to one word: