In the last edition “the power of the mind”, we learnt that one of the ways to have our minds renewed is to study the word, meditate on it and then use it rightly. Infact, having a renewed mind is the desire of the Father for us according to Romans12:2 and it is important to remember that it is God the Father(in form of the Holy Spirit)that can actually perform the spiritual (mind renewing) operation/surgery in us. In one of the epistles of Paul to the Philippian Christians, he wrote about the area(s) of a believer’s life in which the Father works in us. “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13 New American Standard Bible
What then is the good pleasure of God? “Philippians 2: 11. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Also from the study of the word of God, we get to know the will of God and vs11 explicitly states that the ultimate will/desire of God is salvation!
God’s good pleasure (i.e. His desire) is to have all men saved hence why Paul wrote in “Philippians 2: 12b … work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
Now that we have established that the will/greatest desire/good pleasure of the Father is salvation and we can see from verse 13 that God Himself is the one that-:
1.) Works in us to “will” His good pleasure: The key thing to learn here is that God conforms our will to His will. Little wonder Jesus said to Thomas in John14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Again in this verse, we see that it was emphasized that the way to the Father is through our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ which also confirms what we read in Philippians 2:13. The work of ‘willing’ or ‘desiring’ His good pleasure’ can only be achieved when Christ opens our heart to believe His word as we see in the account of Lydia in “Acts 16:14 The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul”.
2.) works in us “to work” for His good pleasure: When the work of “willing” (desiring) His good pleasure has been completed, He then starts working in us to do/work for His good pleasure! This is order of things according to the word of God. If Christ has not worked in a believer to will His good pleasure, it is almost impossible for such believer to “work for” His good pleasure! We need to remind ourselves as believers that we were created for a purpose and the scripture makes this clear to us in Revelation 4:11, KJV “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
Summary: We see from our anchor scripture that God “works in us” which means He divinely operates on our soul/mind for the sole purpose of fulfilling His good pleasure! I hope we’ll be encouraged knowing that the work of salvation is of the Father and He is at work in us both to ‘will’ and also ‘to work for’ His good pleasure. The process is definitely going to be different for each one of us so it is important that we remind ourselves that God is the one writing the scripts of our lives and all we have to do as actors/actresses is to act (with His leading) the script that has already been written out for us … Shalom!
Deaconess Grace Ekhator