Work In and Work Out

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Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Philippians  2:12-13, KJV

I need to work out. Instead of dutifully going to the gym and participating in the fellowship of the gym rats, I’ve gotten lazy, both physically and spiritually.  Instead of doing what my personal trainer has instructed me to do, I’ve gotten listless, both mentally and emotionally.  I haven’t consistently applied the principles that would produce a productive and profitable preacher.  I haven’t worked out faithfully, I haven’t read my Bible consistently, and I haven’t sought the Lord earnestly.  

God needs to work in.  God needs to work in us. God needs to work in us love and joy and peace and longsuffering and gentleness and goodness and faith and meekness and temperance, which is self control.  But in order for God to work in (us), we need to work out.  Working out helps you to stay attentive to the things of God.  Working out helps you to stay alert for the wiles of the devil. Working out helps you to stay aware of  God’s plan and God’s purpose every minute of every hour of every day. 

The children of Israel worked out. They had to get their own straw when Pharaoh commanded his taskmasters to refrain from giving His people straw as had been the practice.  The Jews realized that the tide was going out and the wind was not blowing their way. “And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case . . . (Exodus 5:19, KJV).  So instead of letting His people get lax and lazy, God fixed it so that “the more the Egyptians afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.”  They worked out. And God worked in their situation.

So work out so that God can work in. Instead of waiting for “things” to work out, we need to be pro-active and progressive, not reactive regressive; we need to set the pace for others and not let others set the pace for us. Work out in the Word.  Work out on your knees in prayer. Work out in service to others. Work out so that God can work His good pleasure in you.

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