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Our God is such a gentle and loving God. He says of himself, “I am gentle and humble in heart…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matthew 11:29 -30). He does not force himself on us. He lavishes us with his love and then gives us the choice to taste and see that he is good (Psalm 34:8). When we do taste and see that he is good, we see our Lord for who he is and we make him our savior and receive his salvation. We freely give ourselves to him to restore us to his original design for us. We partnership with him simply by saying, “Lord, here I am.” Then, he begins a work within us, in every part of us, which he will bring to completion as we continually give ourselves to him (Philippians 1:6).
The goodness of God, the blessings that he has for us (spiritually & materially), all the fascinating things about himself that we can’t fathom on our own, he freely gives us all those things and more. They are a part of the work he began when we believed.
Nothing he gives us is earned. Everything he gives us he’s always intended for us. It’s all a part of the ‘good works he planned in advance for us to do’ (Ephesians 2:10). We only need to submit ourselves to him daily, and allow him to complete what he started.
When we go before the Lord in prayer, we are freely giving ourselves to the Lord just as we did when we received Christ as Savior. The work that he began when we first gave ourselves freely to him, he is perfecting and bringing to the place of completion every time we submit ourselves freely to studying the word, prayer, worship, tithing, fasting, giving to the poor, etc..
Doing these things (studying the word, prayer, worship, tithing, fasting, giving to the poor, etc.), they don’t earn or get us blessings of any kind, including salvation. The blessings simply come because they are a part of the work that the Father planned for us before he even started it.
Often times, we think the pure desires of our hearts originate from us, but they don’t. When we receive Jesus as our savior, God begins his work (Philippians 1:6) and that work begins to transform us into the likeness of Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18), and then we begin to desire what he desires for us, hate what he hates, love what he loves, etc.
Not noticing what he’s done in us, we pray and get the very thing we ask for thinking we received it because we in faith asked for it, when in reality we asked for it because it’s the very thing God himself wanted for us. In his process of transforming us into his likeness we didn’t realize that he’d made our desires his desires.
Too many of us accept Jesus as our savior and allow God to begin his work in us, but we don’t allow him to finish. Let him finish. When we accepted Christ as Savior, we didn’t understand everything about the way of Christ Jesus, we didn’t know if we could follow his way successfully, but we submitted ourselves anyway and he eventually showed us that it was never a work for us to do, but always his to start and to complete.
It’s the same way with studying the word of God, fasting, giving to the poor, praying, worshiping, tithing, etc. We may not understand why we should do these things or even if we can successfully do such thing. That is fine and OK. We simply need to submit ourselves to God. Say, “Lord, here I am to fast, to pray, to worship, to study your word, to feed the poor…etc.” He will do the rest.
Submit yourself to do whatever God has told you to do, or tells you to do, and he will continue until completion the very work he started the day you first believed.
Let him finish,