Wednesday, September 16, 2015

We Can Work It Out

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

Would you agree with me that God’s gifts are wonderful? Can I get a witness? Would you also agree with me that God’s gifts often require a lot of work on our part? That is a paradox that some Christ followers haven’t figured out yet. 

Let’s take Israel as an example. After God delivered them from Egypt, He led them to the Promised Land. It was a land “flowing with milk and honey,” which He was going to give to them. In just a short time, they realized that His gift of that Land was going to require a lot of work on their part. There were battles to be fought and fortified cities to overtake. Sure, God promised that He would be with them in their battles, but even with that divine advantage, they still needed to fight.

I’m thinking they would have preferred that God just give them the gift without any work on their part. You know, like a gift; to merely walk into already built cities and houses without any conflict or opposition or labor. That was not the case because God desired their full cooperation. They had to personally take on the responsibility for the gift He had prepared for them. It’s how He intended their faith to grow.

Do you see it now, dear Christ follower? Although the gift of salvation is free, the Lord requires us to work it out — with fear and trembling. Sure, we have divine help, but we are not automatically or supernaturally filled with knowledge of the Bible, or faith to move mountains, or the power to pray without ceasing. Instead, we discover that we have to fight for the faith [1 Timothy 6:12], taking serious responsibility for the gift He has graciously given to us.

If you are discouraged because the walk of a Christ follower is more challenging than you imagined, don’t be! God doesn't keep you like a helpless infant who has no part in shaping his/her life. Rather, He treats you like a growing adult, which is hard work, believe me! So rejoice. Your are participating with a loving and powerful Creator.

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Philippians 2:12

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