For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure …. Prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world. Philippians 2:13, 15
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
In a very general sense “work” is what we do with our lives. Each person is busy either doing the work of living for themselves or living for God. Today’s Scripture uses the word “pleasure.” So, we can say each person is busy either working for their own pleasure or for God’s pleasure. We were created for God’s pleasure but we naturally live for our own pleasure. In order to reverse this, God intervened through His Son, Jesus Christ. Isaiah 53 says, “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on him.”
Here are some thoughts from an earlier Devotional in our series that help us see how things need to unfold so that the outcome is that our lives bring pleasure to God:
The first thing that brings God pleasure is our return to him (there is no one who does not need to return). As we see from Isaiah 53 it is Christ's sacrifice for our sins that facilitates our return. Our return brings us back into to a full relationship with God. The second thing that brings God pleasure and glory is the intimacy of the love relationship he is able to begin sharing with us upon our return. The third thing that brings God pleasure and glory is the transformation he is able to bring about in our lives through the intimate love relationship he shares with us. The fourth thing that brings God pleasure and glory is the blessing our lives become to other people as he manifests himself through us and uses us to reach and touch other people for him.
Today’s passage speaks of all this as the will and work of God and we must work with him and not against him. What amazing words: “For it is God who is at work in you.” So, whenever you get caught up in living for yourself and your own pleasure, you are working against God and the outcome of having a life that is truly lived for his pleasure. When you cooperate with the work of God consistently over the long haul, you will, in the words of today’s Scripture: “Prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.”
Here is something for you to write on a 3x5 card: RETURN + INTIMACY + TRANSFORMATION + BLESSING = GOD’S PLEASURE. Carry the card with you and review it on a regular basis. It can be a great tool to help you keep focused and stay on track. For today, think about this equation and what each part really means to you. Talk to God about where you are and where you need to head. Remember, he is at work in you. Get in touch with him and join him in all that he seeking to do in and through you. There is no greater work we can do than working toward the outcome of having a live that is truly lived for God’s pleasure.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, thank you for intervening. I am grateful for my return to you. What a wonder it is to be welcomed back into you your arms of love. Help me to abide in your presence. Continue to change me from the inside out. Use my life as a beacon of light for others to find you. I know you will help me go forward living fully for your pleasure and your pleasure alone. Amen!
Posted on Wed, November 2, 2016
by Ken Hart