His Work in You

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
Philippians 1:6

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The day I read this verse and realized its significance is indelibly etched in my mind. The sense of joy and freedom that washed over me and filled my soul still turns the light of hope on in my spirit. God began a good work in me when I first believed in Jesus. He will continue working out good in me until I am safely with him. That promise is written with the blood of my Savior.

The other day I heard an interview about “bullying.” The authors* spoke about the Christian being bullied by four states of mind we battle. I’ve battled them in different ways over the years, but never thought about them as bullying. Then I realized each one of them produced guilt in my life. The kind of guilt that wreaks havoc on my insides. The guilt that I’m not good enough…and never will be.

I wonder…does it do that to you, too? Have you ever thought that you were being bullied? The Bible exhorts us to be alert because our battle isn’t against what we can see.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Ephesians 6:12

The enemy is a bully. He deceives us through standards of the four “P’s:” Perfectionism, performancism, people-pleasing, and procrastination. What we do must be perfect or it’s not worth doing. We need to be the best at whatever we do or it’s not worth doing. We need approval—validation—or it’s not worth doing. We can’t do any of those three so it’s not worth trying—procrastination.

“Good” in the Greek is “agathos (ag-ath-os). It means good in character, honorable, pleasing to God. Jesus, in Matthew 19:17, says there is none good but God. And God has imparted the good nature of ‘God the Son’ to all who have believed. We’re a work in progress. As we turn our backs on the desires and emotions of our self-natures and embrace the gift of Christ’s nature, good grows in us.

“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” 2 Peter 1:3-4

We have exceeding great and precious promises we can stand on. We don’t have to be perfect. We don’t have to perform for others. We don’t have to please people. And, when it becomes our goal to glorify and please God, procrastination has no hold over us. He will continue his work in us until the day when Jesus Christ returns for his bride.

by Marilyn Allison

*”You Don’t Have to Try So Hard”
by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory