Our relationship with God is an individual thing. It looks different depending on what we know and how we’ve put it into practice. Life experiences can shape that relationship. Friends, family, and church can influence it, too. It seems that some grow quickly and easily, while others stagnate.
A characteristic of the apostle Paul that frequently appears in his writings is his incredible drive. Even a casual reading of Paul’s letters reveals his intense, tenacious desire to follow God and spread the Gospel, at any cost.
How did he get here? How do I get there too?
In Philippians 2:12-13, Paul focuses on this truth: spiritual progress is a matter of learning to yield. He calls on his readers to obey what they already know, listen to the insights of other spiritually mature people, and allow God to provide both the power and the desire to grow.
“Lord, help me want to do your will”
- Think about someone you know who possesses laser-focus intensity in life (their job, a relationship, an activity, etc…). What internal and/or external forces contribute to this?
- Do you sometimes find it difficult relating to the “heroes” of the Bible? If so, how might you find a more realistic connection to their lives?
- What makes yielding/submitting so difficult, even when we know it may result in something positive in our life?
- The heart of this week’s passage is Paul’s instruction to “work out your salvation” because “God works in you.” How are these ideas related?