“… continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.” Philippians 2:12b-13 (NIV)
There are things that only God can do. Only God can save us. Only God can sanctify us and equip us for His purpose. Only God can empower us to fulfill that purpose. Yet, there are things God will not do. These are the things He expects us to do if we are to experience His fullness in our lives. We are to work out the salvation that God has worked in us. I call it the Divine Dance. As partners with God, we are to follow His lead, embraced by His Spirit. Only then are we able to fulfill His good purpose for us.
Peter speaks about this in his letter. In 2 Peter he writes,
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.” 2 Peter 1:3-9 (NIV)
We are to add to our faith. Oswald Chambers comments on that in his devotional My Utmost for His Highest in a way that offers us clarity. He writes, “‘Add’ means there is something we have to do. We are in danger of forgetting that we cannot do what God does, and that God will not do what we can do. We cannot save ourselves nor sanctify ourselves. God does that, but God will not give us good habits. He will not give us character. He will not make us walk aright. We have to do all that ourselves. … ‘Add’ means to get into the habit of doing things, and in the initial stages it is difficult.”
Be intentional in your spiritual growth. Develop the habits necessary for spiritual health. Learn to self-correct and walk in the Spirit as you read and meditate on Scripture. Let God’s Word become a lamp to guide your feet and a light for your path. (Psalm 119:105 NLT) Practice spiritual breathing, exhaling confession of sin and your need for God’s Spirit. As you inhale, ask for God’s breath to fill your life. Spiritual transformation involves a part that only God can do and a part that only you can do in cooperation with Him. He’s given us everything we need. We just need to appropriate it by faith every day!
What are the things God wants you to do today?