We would all agree that salvation is a miracle of God working in a person’s life and we all
rejoice over them, but just as much a miracle if not more so is the work of God to bring us, his children, to the point of stepping out of our comfort zones to serve him in our churches and around the globe. Only God can put the desire in us to forsake father, mother, sister and brother, and even lay down his own life for others. Yet for some reason, we feel that our Christian service is solely our option to do so. We missionaries rejoice with relief when the Lord sends us co-workers from home to help us in this hard work. All too often God has to light a stick of heavenly dynamite under pew sitters to get them to join in the battle for souls. Yes it truly is a miracle when people choose to respond to God’s working in them and join us in the fray, and they become shining stars for God’s glory.
Shining as Stars
12 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, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. 14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16 as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who is working in you the will to act or step out in your faith. I AM the one who gives you the desire to respond to me. I AM the Lord who is working out my character in your lives so that you will be like me, pure and blameless for all to see. I AM the one who draws you. I AM the author and perfector of your faith. I AM the one who saves you and I make you righteous. I give you the desire to be pure in this life so that you can work with me. It is not your responsibility to “try to be” like shining stars; it is my responsibility to make you like shining stars as you respond to my working in your lives. I AM the one who creates hunger in your souls to search for me. And I promise to fill you up when you seek me with all of your heart.
Shining like stars is the outcome or result of God having preeminence in your life. We can foster this by staying in His Word and knowing God’s character with all his grace and mercy toward us. As we set our minds on Him (Rom 12:1, 2), He can transfer those characteristics into our lives as He controls us by his Spirit. When he does so, the world just looks in awe at our transformed life. Like what happened to Peter in Acts 3:12 “When Peter saw this, he said to them: ‘Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?’”
He won’t do this work through just anyone, only those in whom he has placed this desire to respond to his calling. And only after we choose to respond to live whole heartedly to fulfill that call in our lives or as Paul says, “to work out our salvation with fear and trembling” then He uses us.
More to come,