“You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected” (James 2:22).
David once questioned God about who it is that will live with Him in heaven (Psalm 15:1). His inquiry revealed a divine answer that shows God must work in those who plan on dwelling with Him one day. It is an inescapable truth that our God is a working God and He is working in each one of us to create a character free from the desire of sin.
There are many people in this world who consider themselves religious yet don’t allow God to work in them. Paul is clear when he addresses the congregation at Philippi about the work God wants to do within His children (Philippians 1:6). He encourages the congregation to know that it is a work that has a beginning and will be worked until it is complete. He has a desire for all mankind to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), but His desire can only be fulfilled in the submissive soul that allows His truth to mold them (James 4:7).
For God to begin His work in us we must die to the flesh (Matthew 16:25). We must deicide to allow God’s way of life to rule our heart, minds and attitudes. God knows what is best for His creation and His grace is offered through His commands. His work begins in us when we fully surrender to His Spirit. Our fleshly desires do nothing but hinder God’s work. We will do well to deny ourselves and follow the lead of His Spirit.
The Bible is clear about the distinction of those who truly allow God to work in their lives: “By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10). Only when we allow God to work within us can we even begin to think of being righteous. His righteousness working in us shows the true ugliness of sin and convicts our hearts to the point of being “sorrowful to the point of repentance” (2 Corinthians 7:9). Without true repentance, there is no evidence of God working in us.
The Bible is clear that salvation is only offered to those who allow God to perfect His work in their lives. For God to work one must study His word and develop an intimate relationship with Him. Avoid being one who thinks God owes you salvation. His salvation is only offered to those who have faith in His word. That is why James tells us, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:22). The people who delude themselves are the hardest to reach. They are not willing to humble themselves in the sight of the Lord so that He might lift them up (1 Peter 5:6). Having a heart of humility doesn’t come naturally.
God’s work must begin in our submission and be perfected in His Son. He starts when we hear His word and are convicted to the change truth will produce in us. Then we will be converted to the life that He offers through His Suffering Servant we know as Jesus, our Savior. God is working in His children to produce in them a submissive attitude that trusts His way over anything that our feeble minds can conceive. When we are submissive to His work, then and only then, can He lead us to the rest of His life.
In His Grace,