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, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.” Philippians 2:12-13 (NIV)
Can you imagine what we could accomplish in life if we were able to live to our full potential? The Lord has blessed every person with unique gifts, and he loves to create opportunities for us to exercise those gifts to his honour. By doing that, we grow and develop as mature adults in the faith. But so often we are our own worst enemies in life. We easily get into a habit of thinking up good excuses as to why we are not able to do great things. We are so prone to compare ourselves to others. There is always someone else who is faster, stronger, and more beautiful. But we don’t stop there, we take the best abilities of many people, and try to measure ourselves against that. Then we feel so small and insignificant!
Paul had taught the disciples of Christ in Philippi about our new life in Christ. We are God’s children by faith. He has bought us so dearly, and he has filled us with his Holy Spirit. The believers were not called to obey Paul but to obey Christ. They had to walk the walk of faith by the power of the Holy Spirit. But from the early days of the first churches, people have found excuses as to why someone else would be better suited for the task at hand. Someone else must help, must witness, must care for the broken people. And to this day, Christians still think someone else would better do their work in the body of Christ.
The reprimand of verse 13 takes all our excuses away. We are called to follow the example of Christ and serve like he did – we saw that in yesterday’s text. The Lord does not call on us to do anything without first giving us all we need to accomplish our mission. God works in us to will … He gives us all the motivation we need to live for him. And He works in us to act. He gives us the gifts, the strength and the opportunity to make a difference. The task is usually bigger than what we imagine we can handle, but that is where prayer comes in. We grow outside our comfort zones! Life is so much better when we obey God and live a meaningful life to his honour. That is our purpose in life!
Prayer:Lord, I confess that sometimes I am the king of excuses. I usually think you have someone much better qualified to do my duty in your church. Today, help me to learn that you have created me for excellence. Give me the wisdom and insight to be willing and able to do all you have created me for. Help me to live an excellent life to your glory. Amen