“For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” - Phil. 2:13
God longs to work in us. He created us for good works that he prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10). But many of us fail to ever get around to doing the good works that God has prepared for us. Why is that? For some it's because you haven't realized the power of God in your own life. You haven't learned to access the power that God freely gives to you. For others it's because you don't know that God has a plan, or you don't know how to discover that plan. And for others, it's a matter of confident obedience. You know what God would have you to do, but you are either afraid, simply don't want to do it, or both.
But God created you with a plan and a purpose. And while he does not reveal every step of that plan in our lives, he does give us direction and leading. It is our job to respond in obedience. So how does God work in us?
1. The Bible
Reading the Bible is our access to what God has to say to us. The Bible is God's Word. As we read, understand, meditate and feed on God’s word, it goes to work in our lives to cleanse us and nourish us. God gave us his word so that we would have confidence, so that we would know his law, so that we could see his love for us, and so that we would have good reason to put our trust in him. The Bible is God's written word. It was written so that we could have a record of God's plan. It is vital that we spend regular time each day reading the Bible.
Prayer is simply talking to God. It is our access to the throne. Prayer is your opportunity to go before the King of the universe and share your heart, your thoughts, and your emotions with him. He created you, and he longs to have a conversation with you. Many are intimidated at the thought of prayer. We are afraid we won't know what to say. We are afraid we might say something wrong. But just as we long for our children to speak to us, God longs to hear from us. As we pray, God’s Spirit works in us to release His power. What we’ve read from His Word is released in a powerful way within us. Prayer is as vital to our spiritual health as breathing oxygen is to our physical health.
We don't like to think about suffering as being a part of God's plan. But it is. As we suffer, the Spirit of God ministers to us. God allows suffering in our lives to teach us, to grow us, to build our character, and ultimately to make us more like Christ. It's your choice though. How you respond to suffering is up to you. You can run from it, rebel against it, and allow it to make you bitter. Or you can face it head on, allow God to work in and through you, and it will make you better. Suffering drives us back to God, and to the reading of the Word of God.
Is God working in you? Are you reading your Bible, daily? Are you in prayer, daily? Are you accepting the suffering in your life as an opportunity to lean into God and allow him to grow you? Set aside some time today to have a conversation with God. You'll be amazed at what he will show you.