by Latricia C. Bailey
“For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.”
Philippians 2:13 (AMP)
“It is easier said than done” is a common phrase people say when they must do something hard or difficult. This is usually the case especially when God has told us to do something that seems daunting or impossible. In the book of Philippians, Paul encourages and comforts the Christians of Philippi to be mature in their relationship with one another as God commands. Paul’s assistant, Epaphroditus, had been ill and was now returning to Philippi with news of Paul’s death sentence in Rome. Paul lived a life solely dedicated to the mission and service of God. Despite the sentencing, Paul was optimistic about the opportunity to represent the Lord with honor. He realized that his strength wasn’t about him at all. “For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work . . .” Philippians 2:13 (AMP).
As Christians, we often attempt to do God’s will in our own strength. We make decisions without consulting Him or we seek His direction, but don’t go that way. We fast and pray about our concerns and get frustrated when the results are not what we want. Many of us struggle just to be people of integrity, and often leave God out of our options. Paul’s letter to the Philippians in verses 14-15 encourages us to “do everything without murmuring or questioning [the providence of God], so that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish in the midst of a [morally] crooked and [spiritually] perverted generation, among whom you are seen as bright lights [beacons shining out clearly] in the world [of darkness]”.
You may not be facing a death sentence, but whatever you are going through or concerned about, remember that it is not your strength that will carry you through or solve your problem. Hold out for the Lord to do the work in and through you so that like Paul, in verse 17, you can “ . . .have reason to rejoice greatly because I did not run [my race] in vain nor labor without result.”
So, who’s really working?
Is it Him or you?