The will and the way
This is the time of year when we think about all the things we want to do, but haven’t had a chance. We make resolutions, but they rarely work. Our intentions can be good, but our follow-up is lacking. I’ve thought about learning to play the saxophone, but it hasn’t happened. Other desires have gone by the wayside as well. You know what they say – if we don’t really want to do something, we won’t. We seem to find other things that need our more immediate attention. We always find time to act on our true desires, even if they aren’t the best.
We also often talk about how much we want to do things for God, to serve him and others, and also to have greater desire for him and all things spiritual. But again, as with other items on our wish list, these can take a lower priority as the urgent matters of life encroach, and sometimes, as the old saying goes, we give it a lick and a promise.
My desires and intentions wax and wane, come and go, and get sidelined with regularity. This is why I find the words of Paul in Philippians 2:13 so encouraging: “For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure” (AMP). The Message makes it even more apparent where our good desires originate: “That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.”
We can take comfort knowing that any and all desires for God, any act of love or service, anything good, comes from him. He will energize us and enable us to fulfill those desires, and always in a way that honors and glorifies him.
Study by Tammy Tkach
First published on 3 January 2023, at www.gemsofgodsgrace.wordpress.com
About the writer:
Tammy Tkach is the Assistant Pastor of the Eugene, Oregon, USA congregation. She is a speaker and writer, and publishes a blog at www.gemsofgodsgrace.wordpress.com
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