Philippians 2:12-13 Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
This is a Scripture that I quote often, and it is even included in the Faith Declarations I’ve been using for almost 40 years now. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve got it fully ingrained in my being to live by it. I don’t know that I operate with much “fear and trembling” toward God at all, and that leaves me open to all sorts of temporal fears that are ultimately meaningless. We all have a stubborn tendency to get in ruts, to take things for granted and essentially just coast, and that dulls our spiritual ears. That’s a major purpose of fasting: forcing us to place God ahead of the flesh in our priorities, at least for a little while. God really does work in us, as this says, and He speaks to us frequently, but much of the time we are too distracted to pay attention. When we aren’t paying attention to God, then the devil has a much easier time of insinuating his lies into our hearts and minds. That’s dangerous!
I feel like I am waking up, to a degree at least. I have been such a news/political junkie that I’m getting 60 or more emails a day, many of them “newsletters” that copy each other and generally try to drum up panic (not to mention contributions). With the recent election behind us, I realize I need to unsubscribe to the vast majority of those, greatly reducing the amount of time I’m glued to my chair in front of the computer. I’m realizing I have a list of things I could and should be doing, that would ultimately be far more satisfying than stewing in front of a news feed. Some of those things are for personal advancement, but more importantly, some are specifically for the sake of the Body of Christ, and I have no excuse for letting them slide. I realize that we are under spiritual attack, and I’ve got to get with the program, consciously wearing the full armor of God at all times, (Ephesians 6:10-18) getting my orders from my Commander and being tactical in my use of time and resources. I need to stand guard over my flock, starting with my wife, because they are under attack as well. God has told me to rest, relax, and rejoice, but that doesn’t mean blind, deaf, and lazy! Results are in God’s hands, but if I’m not active in my obedience, I don’t have a great deal to look forward to in the way of results.
Father, thank You indeed for this wake-up call. The irony is that failing to be active in my obedience is ultimately exhausting! Help me be active in seeking first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, and not just relegate that to an aphorism. I pray that Cathy and I would both get the rest we need at the right times so that we will have the energy we need to do Your will on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!