For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13.
I could not help but experience great joy as this scripture came to mind and I was remembering back to when I was a new Christian, knowing so little of God’s Word, but so ready to learn. So it is with a new life comes new learning. Each new day holds opportunities for God to teach and transform us. God works in us, through His Holy Spirit to make us into the image of Christ. It brings Him great pleasure to watch us move away from our exhaustive efforts into having Spirit-led lives.
When we place our faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, His Holy Spirit comes to live in us. His Spirit then begins to work in our lives to transform us into becoming more like Him. The Spirit works in many ways to change us into the image of Christ. He does not force Himself on us demanding that we yield to His working. It remains our choice through our freewill to daily surrender to His work in our lives. To follow or not to follow proves to be a moment-by-moment question. But, as we remain faithful with our part, He will certainly be faithful to do His.
God is at work in you through gentle promptings. As we seek Jesus, the Holy Spirit works through gentle promptings on our hearts. His Spirit prompts us by revealing God’s will and what He is calling us to do in response to it. He places His desire on our hearts and we decide whether to obey or ignore the prompts. Each time we respond to His promptings on our hearts we grow in spiritual maturity becoming more like Jesus. The more we respond to the Spirit’s work in us the clearer and more distinct His leading becomes. We grow in confidence in Him knowing He is working in us and our faith develops to a greater level.
He makes us willing and then He makes us able. Even though it is His work in us, His work still needs our willingness. There will be times when we struggle with wanting to do our own thing. Have you ever thought? “Oh, I will come back to this later when it is more convenient for me” or, “Let me look around for an easier way Lord, then I will get back to You.” As we yield our will to Jesus, His Spirit works in our hearts and our desire to follow Him increases regardless of the cost. The Spirit works to move our focus from the price we will pay to the price He has paid. He enables us to persevere through obstacles because of His strength being released in us as we embrace His inner working.
We are then able to do good works for His pleasure. As we live out our life in response to His grace, His Spirit enables us to do good works that we could never do in our own strength and talent. We wear out easily and give up quickly in our own strength. The Holy Spirit never tires. God’s work in us is not limited by circumstances. His Spirit imparts everything we need to live and do pleasing things for the Lord. He gives us His wisdom to know what to do in any situation. He gives us His strength to stand strong in trying times. He works within us to transform us into something we could never be on our own, and to do works that we could never do left to our own abilities. This brings Him great pleasure, transforming us to be like Jesus!
Director of Congregational Care