Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Philippians 2:13 …for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Hebrews 13:20-21 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Imagine that you have just been hired for a new job. You have a college degree in business, and have all the management skills and experience necessary to run a large corporation. In your orientation on your first day you are told you will have to prove yourself and work your way up from the bottom.
You are assigned to start out in the maintenance department of the corporate office building, and you are specifically responsible for the upkeep on the heating and air conditioning system. You are sent to the basement with no further instructions or training. When you arrive in the boiler room you discover that whoever was in charge last has been gone for some time, and when they left they took all of the tools and equipment with them. You not only have no idea what anything is, or whether it needs repair, you also have no idea how to take care of it and you have no tools to even pretend to work with.
At the end of the day the corporate CEO calls you into his office and asks you what you accomplished for the company. You must admit to him that you did nothing because you had no training in that area and had been given no tools with which to work. He fires you on the spot and says you should have been better trained, better equipped, and taken more initiative to accomplish the assigned tasks.
That’s pretty unjust, don’t you think? Not only were you put into a totally unfamiliar job position, but in addition you were given no equipment to accomplish the task. Your desire was to benefit the company and honor the boss, but you had no way to do either of those things.
When we came to Christ for salvation and joined His kingdom work, we were totally unprepared for the position we would be given. We had no training in righteousness, no experience in holiness, and no spiritual equipment with which to accomplish the purpose of the Boss and honor Him. We didn’t even have a real desire to do anything differently than we had done before we met Jesus. But God understood our predicament and chose to meet ALL our needs. He had demonstrated His incredible power when He brought Jesus back from the dead, and now He would use His power to indwell us, equip us, train us, and do the work for us. God has asked us to join the work He is already doing, rather than just assigning us a task and hoping we can accomplish it.
But don’t carry this to an apathetic extreme. Some people will try to teach that the work is all God’s responsibility and our only duty is to be empty and available. This philosophy could result in us blaming God for any seeming inactivity. God has clearly stated that we are to work out our salvation, and that He has equipped us to do His will. We are to be an active participant in God’s work.
It is a wonderful balance that God manages. He provides us with the desire to join Him in His work. He equips us with His power and gifts to accomplish His purpose. He indwells us so that He is directly and intimately involved in every aspect of the work. It is a symbiotic relationship that produces indescribable joy and eternally valuable results.
This truth provides us with the necessary confidence to rise enthusiastically every morning and ask the Boss for our daily assignments. Imagine how great it would be to go through every day of your life with that kind of confidence. “Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. 5Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Corinthians 3:4-6)
WOW! We are confident and we are competent because God is doing His work in us. Join Him!