Saturday, February 23, 2008

An Alien Desire

for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)

I am working on my first sermon in Philippians chapter two, and I want to glorify God through the depth of His Word. It is nearing the “wee” hours of the morning on this Saturday, and I have been reading through the first few chapters of Philippians for a few hours in an attempt to gain a deeper feeling for what the meaning of this text is. I don’t know how many times I had read through the second chapter or what translation I was reading when I felt like I was slapped upside the head with this verse.

Paul here is writing to believers and encouraging them in how to live and act in fellowship by conforming to Christ in His supremely glorious example that He has set for us. And it is in this context that, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul made a plain declaration of why believers want to do things that are glorifying to God as well as why we actually do them. Namely, God Himself is at work in me in order that I might desire to work for His good pleasure and so that I might actually do that work that I now desire to do.

Praise God for His divine sustaining and enabling mercy that causes my will to be conformed to His desires and that moves me to act in obedient response to His alien desire that is now residing in me.
For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. (Galatians 5:17)

Oh God, that You would break down my fleshly desires and reservations that war against Your Spirit’s work in my soul that I might live in obedience with greater fervor, greater frequency, and greater faith.

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