I am convinced of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. – Philippians 1:6, CSB
Paul, along with his young partner in the gospel, Timothy, is writing to the church at Philippi. The servants there at Philippi were filled with the Spirit, and therefore the Lord had indeed “begun a good work” in them. That good work was the beginning of their sanctification — the preparation that all believers walk though on their journey toward the day they meet Jesus face-to-face. This church had been faithful to Paul in his imprisonment and had supported him in his work. He loved this church and was taking time to encourage and build up his co-laborers. As believers, one of the most important things we can do is offer each other encouragement.
So what does this walk toward sanctification look like? It’s almost easier to tell you what it doesn’t look like!
First, it isn’t easy. It’s nice to think that, once you believe in Jesus and you commit to following Him by reading your Bible, memorizing Scripture, studying His Word, and spending time with fellow Christ-followers, your life will be peaceful and calm. Sorry, friend, but that’s not reality. I’ve said it before in my blogs: this isn’t heaven. Therefore, we still have to navigate life on a planet filled with sin. And not just the sin of others – our own sin! That’s right, just because you became a Christian doesn’t mean you won’t still commit sins. (Hopefully these sins won’t be often or repeated.) Thankfully, because of the endless grace of Jesus, you are forgiven.
There will be bumps along the way. Because we are a work in progress, we will fall short. We are not perfect. Only Jesus is. So, remember that when you are serving, studying, and spending time with other Christians, you are on the right path. If what you’re doing aligns with Scripture and brings God glory, then you’re doing it well. You may make mistakes, you may not see the fruit of your labor immediately, and you may not reach the goal you set for yourself, but your work is seen by the one Who is working inside of you. So cut yourself some slack and keep trying.
Finally, you may be the one who sabotages yourself. By looking too far inward, we fail to look up. It’s so easy to doubt ourselves when we are about to take that step of faith. Just ask Peter about his stroll on the Sea of Galilee. He was doing really great until he realized what was happening. Imagine what would’ve happened if he had not taken his eyes off of Jesus. Now imagine what it will be like if you don’t take your eyes off Him! Here’s the thing: the Holy Spirit is working in you to accomplish the work already planned by the Father, and He will be faithful to continue –
If. You. Will. Just. Get. Out. Of. The. Way!
Pray. Seek Him first. Then let Him do a work in you.