Summary: How do we spiritually workout the promises of God so that they become reality?
As we remember the Year of Increase & Filling, I felt constrained to consider how God actually does what He says in our lives. How do we spiritually workout the promises of God so that they become reality? Too often we see seed from the sower scattered only to find hard ground that fails to produce fruit. When we understand the process it will help us to become more fruitful. We will understand: God’s grace in communicating to us, our responsibility to receive it and the attitude of fear and trembling we must have in the process.
I Work In: God’s Grace
i) How God communicates: God is continually speaking to us through general revelation - Creation Psa 19, Rom 1:19-20, then specific revelation – His Word Heb 1:1-2, the Bible, then His Son and now specific revelation. His communication is His grace and filled with His power.
ii) God’s Revelation is His Grace: It is undeserved and unearned; it is free but not cheap. God’s grace comes through His Word or communication to us. Like seed, it has His life in it, it is powerful and creative. If we are open to the revelation it produces faith in our lives.
iii) Faith is the channel for God’s Grace: Rom 10:17, faith comes by hearing the message (having the right soil for the word). Many have ears but they don’t hear, eyes but they don’t see. Pride is the greatest hindrance to hearing – God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Faith is the channel for God’s grace, Eph 2:8, 9.
iv) God works from the inside out: ‘For it is God who works in you’. Every blessing of God must come into your spirit and then manifest outside. The Devil works the opposite – from the outside to within: external temptations to internal bondage; he forces in looking for a place and then takes hold of us.
II Work Out: Our Responsibility
i) Work out your salvation: This is not earning our salvation through good works but cooperating with God after He works in so that it works out. Our salvation is the free gift of God’s grace – the foundation we have received but we need to build on it (1Co 3:11-15)
ii) Keyword here is obedience! As we obey the Word it get’s worked out – our salvation received in our spirit gets worked out into our minds, bodies and our lives. Paul likens the workout to an athlete competing for games – strict training (1Co 9:24-27). Peter talks about the systematic adding to faith 2Pe 1:6-10.
III Work Attitude: Fear & Trembling
i) Not a slavish terror: Attitude should be one of wholesome serious caution, e.g. scientists going to send a rocket with man to the moon. Would make every effort to do right not mess up in any detail.
ii) Like servants: Eph 6:5, a healthy fear that comes from respect of the master and wanting to do right.
What do we learn:
1. God is constantly working in our lives
2. We need to exercise faith to receive His grace.
3. Work out what God works in by obedience
4. Our attitude: wholesome serious caution.