Folks at Twin Oaks have often heard me say that we should be praying today for the things we hope will happen tomorrow. Actually, I’ve found that I should be praying today for the things I hope will happen five to ten years from now. God doesn’t need that long to move, but He often needs that long to get me ready for the move.
To go along with that thought, consider this verse of scripture that is found Philippians 2-
“…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13 NKJV)
Scripture teaches us very clearly that we do not work ‘for’ our salvation. Forgiveness and eternal life are not blessings we deserve because of our good deeds. Salvation is a gift of God’s grace.
However, scripture does teach us that we must work ‘out’ our salvation. Paul tells us to ‘work out our salvation with fear and trembling…’ Or as some have put it, “We should be working out what God is working in.”
The part about this verse that has always inspired me the most is – “…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Just as salvation is a gift of God’s grace, so is the desire and ability to live out the Christian life. According to Paul, we do not serve God because we are good people. We serve God because God is always at work inside of us, giving us both the desire and the ability to live for Him. You could say that we are merely responding to what He has already determined to do both in and through our lives.
If that is true, then consider Barbara Johnson says about prayer –
“Pray out your hopes and dreams.
If you do, one of two things will happen:
either God will reveal that it is NOT His will,
or, He will answer your prayers in a very POWERFUL WAY!”