“Whereunto I also labor — striving according to His working — which worketh in me mightily!” “For it is God that worketh in you — both — to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Col.1:29; Phil.2:13
Any and every true ministry and service for Christ is literally performed in complete accordance with the enabling grace of God by virtue of the indwelling Spirit of God.
The first text above comes from a context that directly involves preaching the pure truth of the everlasting gospel. Preaching, warning and teaching — in all wisdom — so that there may be presented many wonderful souls that have been found to have been made “perfect in Christ Jesus” ! It is to this end that the faithful minister “strives” — or, struggles, contends, or endeavors to accomplish. That’s why we strive after this manner — “according to His working — which worketh in us mightily!” He does it! The second text serves to echo this very same reality. In fact, it is the same word in the original that is translated as “worketh” that is used in both descriptions. This outward working — of willing and doing the good pleasure of the Lord God — is the evidence of His divine, soul quickening, life transforming — indwelling presence in our lives.
It is His performance — in us and through us — that does it all! It is His efficiency that continues to maintain the ministry that He has placed us in — even for the meeting of all the endless, mundane tasks that need to be routinely accomplished in and throughout its entire operation in this fallen world. It is in conjunction with His divine strength and power that provides all the ability for His servants to be able to endure all the hardships — all the troubles — and all the difficulties that become an integral part — of all the demands that are involved in the ministry we are called to do while we are here. And, all these demands — and all that’s a part of their accomplishment — will indeed be many! For God’s true servants — are also His true soldiers upon the blood soaked battlefield that this world represents.
So we press on in our labors — realizing that our God, our Savior, the Captain of our faith — has positioned us — at any given moment — precisely where He wants us on the battlefield of this world. That which He wills for us to be — and that which He wills for us to do — will ultimately be exactly what He has ordained for us to be and do. It is coming to know and realize this truth — which keeps us humble before Him and which also gives us strength to carry on until He — and He, alone, changes things — or, takes us home to be forever with Him.
Only then may we be able to boldly say along with the apostle Paul: “But by the grace of God — I am what I am! And, His grace which was bestowed upon me — was not in vain — but I labored more abundantly than they all — yet not I — but the grace of God which was with me.” He gets all the glory — that’s the way it should be!
For Christ’s Glory Only!