"September 27, 2023
“What I’m getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you’ve done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I’m separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God is willing and working at what will give the most pleasure.’ [Philippians 2:12-13 The Message]
You have heard the saying, “When the cat’s away the mice will play.” Well, Apostle Paul is encouraging the church at Philippi to act as if the cat is not away even though he is! Paul says, "Keep doing what you were doing when I was with you. As a matter of fact, redouble your efforts. Know that God is at work in you. Trust that God is willing and working at what will give you joy, will give you the most pleasure." Yet, this is not very often the image we have of God. Instead, we envision God as a police officer trying to catch us doing something wrong or judge ready to declare a verdict. What if we used our imaginations and really began to envision that God is not only willing, but working at what will give us the most pleasure? What would give you the most pleasure for our church or for your own life? Is it health and vitality? Is it deeper and more loving relationships? What is it that would give you the most pleasure? Imagine God working towards this end and then ask yourself how you might redouble your efforts to partner with God in this work!
Loving God, I trust that you are willing and working at what will give me the most pleasure. Now I ask that you help me redouble my efforts to partner with you in this work, for sometimes we are the very answer to our own prayers. Amen.