I remember thinking before I was a follower of Jesus, “this will never affect me in the future.”
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him.”
There are few passages in the entirety of Scripture that I enjoy as much as this one.
Followers of Jesus serve a God who is so rich in mercy and in grace that he not only gives us the power (read: ability) to do what pleases him, he gives us the desire (read: traction) to accomplish those things as well. The word for this, in short, is grace.
Picture something in your life that you despise doing. Got it? Now, how hard is it to get the motivation to do that certain activity? For me, it’s working out. I despise working out, but because it’s good for my body and it keeps me healthy, I do it. it takes a lot of motivation for me to get out of my door and onto a treadmill at the gym at 6:30 in the morning. I have the physical power to do it, but there is very little, if any, desire to do it. (Aside from maybe not wanting to get a ponch-belly.)
The Bible tells us that God would want our life with Christ to look much more like the movies and a lot less like working out, figuratively speaking. A Christ-filled life is supposed to be vibrant, full, and filled with light – not painful, despondent, crusty, and dead. And God, in his grace, will fill us with the power or the desire (or both) to do what pleases him if we do not have it.
This is the reality of heaven that awaits you and me everyday – but is this what we see? Do you see Christ followers as people who are filled with grace and compassion and mercy, knowing that the power and desire in their lives comes not from them but from their benevolent Father in heaven? Or do you see judgmental, holier-than-though, robotic animitron Christians who you would really like to vote off the island?
Power and desire. Power and desire. Two powerful motivators in life. The question is, where do yours come from?
Peace to you on this Monday…