Philippians 2:12-13 NLT
Several weeks ago I wrote about “Pleasing God More and More.” I did some more research on “pleasing God” and was amazed at how many references there are on this subject. In a short time I came across more than forty. Our key verse this week informs us that pleasing God is a partnership.
Jesus is our perfect example of pleasing God. At His baptism a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” The same thing happened again at His transfiguration. Everything Jesus did or said was pleasing to the Father, because it was all in perfect obedience. What He heard the Father say, He said – what He saw Him do - He did. It was a true partnership.
It is incredible beyond words, but God offers us the same partnership. “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” Because of our fallen nature, we can’t hear and see as clearly as Jesus did. Our human nature has no desire to know God or to do what He requires of us. Our natural inclination is to be our own god, and do whatever we please. However, as born-again believers, we are able to a degree, to hear and see what pleases God.
Our wonderful Lord knows the struggle we have with our lower nature, so He graciously “is working in us, giving us the desire….to do what pleases him.” Were you aware that any desire we have to please God does not originate with us? It is the result of God’s work in us! God’s work not only gives us the desire, but also “the power to do what pleases Him!!” He faithfully carries out His part of the partnership.
Our part in the partnership is to “Work hard to show the results of our salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.” We can’t earn salvation. It is a free gift. But the harder we work at sincerely obeying God - using the “desire and power” He faithfully provides - the more we will be working out our salvation in everyday life. That’s partnership with God!
Let’s Pray –
Oh Father, what favor you bestow on us by allowing us to partner with you. We know we can count on you to fulfill your part. Help us to be faithful in doing our part. Amen
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