Work out your salvation with fear and trembling…
Without faith it is impossible to please God.
Faith requires work.
I must enter into the process.
God will give me the strength to resist temptation- but I have to want to resist it first. God doesn’t rescue those who don’t want to be rescued.
If I choose my sin over Him- He lets me.
This has become such a powerful truth in my life recently.
I see it working and active every day. When I choose Him- when I choose obedience, the strength to obey never fails to be present.
But for many battles with sin, it is a daily choosing, maybe a moment by moment choosing- Him over the flesh, Him over material desires, Him over human praise, Him over control, Him over self.
Philippians 2:12b-18 (NLT)
Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. 17 But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. 18 Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy.
It keeps coming back to His Word.
I can only bear fruit as I am connected to the vine.
So, the battle begins when I open my Bible and read.
God has a message for you.
God has a message for me.
He speaks to each of us, right where we are–right now-through His Word.
Many times, however, I am lazy, and want to lean on my self-sufficiency.
Or, I want a formula from God.
Beth Moore helped me realize this on Saturday. Sometimes, I really want Him to just tell me- do this, and then this, and this- several times a day or several times a week and then you will hear “well done, good and faithful servant.”
But God doesn’t work that way. He wants to live this life with us- continually.
That means that I am constantly going to face new situations that challenge my faith. I am going to face seasons of pain, struggle, and discouragement.
And when I do, He wants me to turn to Him and watch how He brings peace and gratitude in the midst of the unexplainable and awful.
That’s how we work out our faith- how we become mature- we practice leaning on the everlasting arms.
3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
We can claim this promise today.
Ask God to help you love His Word and hunger for it- like bread and water that sustain life-so the Word of God can sustains us.
Lord, when trials and challenges come- may I see them as an opportunity to grow. To seek new knowledge of You and deeper faith in the midst of trials. Strengthen my grip, keep my feet from slipping. As I seek You Lord, enlighten my path. Keep me from evil. Teach me to love your Word more than my own life and the pleasures that I am tempted to seek. May Your Word sustain me more than any other thing on this earth. May it be my joy and portion forever. I want to say like David, I delight in your statutes; my soul is consumed with longing for your ordinances at all times. Your great love calls me, whispers words of hope so wonderful- my soul leaps for joy. Thank you for your faithfulness and patience- many times I fail- yet your mercy remains. Hold my heart Lord, now and forever. Amen.
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