For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13, KJV)
This verse is a remarkable narration of the operations of divine influences on human volition, willingness, purposes, and desires. It says God is the One working in you to accomplish two things. The first is to make you willing, and the second is to make you able. Let me show you the mysteries of how this works.
What makes you willing to do the things you WANT to do? The YOU that is either willing to love and obey God or do what He has commanded you to do? This will to do something is part of who you are and is part of what we know as the soul. When you are willing, you do not feel pressured or controlled. You know it is you.
However, the will to do, that is in the soul can be influenced from the human spirit that is the vital power behind the soul. See this example.
And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away…(1 Chronicles 5:26, KJV)
The LORD “stirred up the spirit” of the kings of Assyria. What does this mean? He made them willing. These were not Israelite kings but the worst of the pagan kings. God made them willing. It was what THEY wanted to do, that is, willing to do, which is part of their soul’s inclinations. However, that willingness in the soul was put in them by God through their spirit. This is vividly summarized by Prov. 21:1 :
The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever he will” (KJV)
These kings did not feel like someone was making them do something. It was not as though they were being pushed, forced or coerced. No. It was them. That is what they wanted to do. But they did not know that the LORD had made them willing to do so.
Phil. 2:3 says God will make you willing. It is not as though you will feel like the Spirit is forcing you. It will be YOU. You will WANT to do it. But that will is coming from the LORD! He is pouring into you the desire to love Him, feed on His Word, pray, love others, preach the gospel, etc. Do you see why He says Christianity is not human efforts? Even the WILL to love Him comes from Him, and do His will comes from Him!
Do you know this is the same spiritual influence the LORD used to enrich the Israelites before they left Egypt?
“And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians” (Exodus 12:36, KJV)
The Egyptians were willing of themselves to give all their wealth to the Israelites! The Lord used the word “spoiled” to indicate to us that the Egyptians gave so much to Israel things that will only require you to conquer someone through war to take so much from them!! This God is still alive and well today. He is your Father!!
Please take a moment to ensure you understand the truth revealed in the devotional above.
APPLY THE WORD
You do not have to pretend in Christianity. He will make you willing. He says work out your salvation. That willingness to love Him, seek Him, etc. is really not you but God working in your heart!
Thank the Lord for His wonderful grace working in our hearts.