“Cutting to the Chase” Meditations 24: Partnership
Phil 2:12,13 “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
We continue to pursue who we are and what we can become. We have just considered the fact of God being our provider and we concluded by warning that Satan puts the emphasis on the first part of our verse above, but neglects to remind us of the later part, but it is the latter part that is all important. But let’s finish with the first part first.
The Amplified Bible enlarges on the “work out” part with “[that is, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity]” while the Living Bible paraphrase expresses it, “do the good things that result from being saved, obeying God with deep reverence, shrinking back from all that might displease him.” Perhaps the important words there are “that result from”. Our ACTIVITY, unlike Martha who was motivated by self-concern, is simply an expression of the urging and enabling of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Very early on in my Christian life, a very senior prophet brought me a word that revealed my course in life but in it came the strong words, “when I have indicated my will to you, before the words have scarcely been out of my mouth, you were running off here and there, you were quicker to fight than I was. My son, this shall cease, you shall abide very close to me and you shall pause and consider and digest my words before you ever venture to act upon them.” And so it went on. If I am honest that has been the greatest ongoing struggle and lesson to be learned that I am still having to learn.
As Paul said, it is GOD who works in you, HE is the initiator of our lives. Throughout the Bible this truth comes through. He called Abram, He called Moses, He called David, He called the disciples to Jesus, He called you and me! This is, I suspect one of the toughest lessons to really and truly take on board. Everything in us is ‘material’ – we see, we taste, we smell, we hear, we touch – and now we’ve been called to operate in a spiritual dimension where we cannot ‘see’ God and it takes effort and sensitivity to ‘hear’ Him. Yes, we’re working in a new dimension, the kingdom of God is being expressed in a new dimension which then impacts this material dimension. How God who is Spirit (Jn 4:24) created a material world is a mystery to us. How He was going to invade this material world in a material human baby body remained a mystery until it happened, a mystery only comprehended by revelation (Eph 3:3,4) but now he has been made known and we have received him into our lives, Jesus, Lord and Saviour. Now he leads, we follow. Simple.