The Enabler

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“So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.” Philippians 2: 12-13

I read these verses from the Apostle Paul this morning and a few thoughts came to mind.

First:  I thought about this single verse in one of my favorite Gungor songs Please Be My Strength.  

“I can not create it and I can not sustain it.  It’s Your love that’s keeping me.”

Second:  What a great reminder for those times when we’re  “just not feeling it.” Because let’s be honest. There are plenty of times in life when we don’t feel it. When we’re too tired, when we’re painfully aware that we’re not enough, when our focus has wandered away onto everything but the ONE thing we need to remain focused on.

“For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.”

These beautiful verses remind us how to put one foot in front of another. 

We remember that it’s God and God alone doing the work…both in us and through us. We’re simply the willing vessel.

We remember that He is the one giving us the strength, the knowledge, the wisdom, the discernment, the desire, and the joy. It is not up to us to create it or sustain it.

I read these verses and I realize, once again, that the heavy yoke living pattern we often fall into is truly a choice.

As Eugene Peterson expresses so well in the Message translation,  Jesus invites us to join Him in a different living pattern  “Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”  Matthew 11: 28-30 (Message)

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