Words for the Week: It Is God

gears

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.—Philippians 2:13

One of my favorite words is hustle. I like it because it is an action word, and I like action. If there is a desired outcome, I want to know how to get there from where I’m at, and then I want to get busy on the first step of action.

For some years, this was my approach, not only to projects or assignments, but to the Christian life. I figured if I could discern what changes I needed to make, I could lay out steps of action toward those changes—and then hustle on the steps to become a good Christian.

I think you can see where I’m going with this. There are some areas in which we don’t hustle, we look to God. And Christian growth is one of those areas.

To be sure, God does give us steps of action. Even in Philippians 2:13 He tells us that He works in us to do of His good pleasure. We’re not to sit around twiddling our thumbs waiting for the Holy Spirit to transform us into the image of Christ. The transformation Christ brings from within comes in series of choices God calls us to make. Sometimes they’re hard choices, and they’re almost always action-based choices.

But here’s the catch: it’s not me who starts this process; it’s God.

It is God who works in me.

I can’t change my heart. I can’t manufacture growth. I can’t make myself like Jesus.

When I look at my week ahead and I sense how very unlike Christ I am—in faith, in priorities, in discernment, in you-name-it—I’m encouraged to remember that it is God who works in me.

It’s not all up to me. I can do nothing—inwardly or outwardly—without Him.

What relief. And what a reminder to look to Him!

I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.—Psalm 57:2

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