“For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13
The Christian life is not difficult, it’s impossible. No one can produce what God desires in us other than God Himself. Religion of man may do a great deal of work and have impressive spiritual disciplines, but for all of its efforts, it cannot please God.
True Christianity is about grace through faith in Christ that produces both desire and power within a believer to do the will of God. It leaves no boast in the mouth of the believer except: “I am what I am by the grace of God.” (1Corinthians 15:10) In the way of grace, the believer stops “trying” to do good and learns to yield to the goodness of God inside of them.
The verse before the text quoted above reads: “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling…” (Philippians 2:12b) The recognition that God Himself is in us means that our “work” is learning how to yield to, and release, His wonderful grace within us. If we reflect more on what this means, there will be a greater sense of awe (fear and trembling) in our ordinary lives. Think of it: the uncreated God of eternity; the God who created the entire universe – lives in me. Wow!
We don’t read our Bibles, pray, worship, go to church, or do good works to gain intimacy with God. Intimacy is His gift to us through the cross. Our part is to accept this gift daily, and to learn how to “do” all spiritual things from the place of freely given grace instead of by a performance mentality of works.
Rejoice in the grace given to you by personalizing the following verse: “In love He predestined us (me) to be adopted as His children (child), in accordance with His pleasure and will – to the praise of His glorious grace which He has freely given us (me) in the One (Christ) He loves.” (Ephesians 1:4b-6)