Philippians 2:3–13 ‘Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling’ (v12)
God’s will is completely expressed in Jesus. Jesus could only do what His Father showed Him (John 5:19). He was vigilant to observe His Father’s movement, avoiding all distractions, so demonstrating perfect obedience. I have a short attention span, so keeping my focus on the movement of God’s Spirit every day isn’t easy. I quickly lose sight of Jesus in whose footsteps I desire to tread. All too quickly, investing in the good blinds me to God’s best. My efforts are well-intentioned, but sadly often misplaced.
Only God can comprehend where my involvement contributes to His plans. It’s not for me to second guess God. My anxiety revolves around how my need to be useful, combined with my desire to be noticed, so quickly leads me to miss and misrepresent God’s purpose. Only by obeying God’s straightforward commands revealed in Scripture can I make progress with my Christian life. I am not invited to critique God’s way, but to live it.
All questions that arise, and they do, are part of the mystery of who is God. Here again, faith is required. My unanswered questions, whilst critical for me, can too easily leave me stranded within the recesses of my overactive mind or overwhelmed by emotional overload. Obedience to God’s will is best personified in Jesus’ ‘mindset’ (vv5–8). But that takes courage to live out authentically.
Scripture to consider: Psa. 143; Jer. 17:5–10; Matt. 12:46–50; James 4:13–17.
An action to take: Consider Jesus’ approach to obedience (vv3–8). What questions does this present for you to consider in how you make decisions in your life?
A prayer to make: ‘Lord, help me to learn to live an obedient life through the choices I make. Amen.’
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