Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director, LHBC
Philippians 2:13 (NLT)
13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
Have you ever felt like you’ve maxed out your heart? Those moments when you feel like you are sitting at the bottom of a dry well, called to pour out love and care even when it feels like there is nothing in you left to give? Seasons of care-taking, challenging relationships, and even tasks or jobs can be draining. It can be hard to love and even tolerate people graciously sometimes. All of us experience emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual exhaustion at times, and Paul encourages us today in our struggle.
Paul’s letter reminds us that our source of love for others is not our self, but God HIMSELF. Isn’t that encouraging to know that God will not only empower us, but will even give us the desire to love and serve? What a promise! The next time you and I feel empty, exhausted, or frustrated…even when we are just annoyed and irritated, we can use God’s Word to pray: Lord, give me the desire and power to do what pleases you.
Paul tells us to keep being purposeful and intentional, and he knew first hand that this is hard work. This work of loving God and loving people doesn’t earn us our salvation, it demonstrates the heart change of a life surrendered to Jesus Christ. It is the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s work in us. We are meant to use the gift of our redemption, not tuck it away and live on our own meager strength. On our own, we don’t have the desire and power to do what pleases God. Paul writes in Philippians 2:12-13:
12 Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
Will you let God’s transforming presence work in you today? Our obedience to God comes from our love and awe of Him. That’s our starting place and our finishing place. When we feel like we’ve reached our limit for loving others, that’s when we can remember that God is limitless. Our work is really just a matter of leaning in and letting God do HIS work.
The words “working” and “giving” used in this passage are in the present tense and remind us that God’s work in us is active and ongoing. God has not left you alone to sit and struggle in emptiness. Do you need to receive God’s desire and power to do the hard work of loving people today?
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, your love is limitless. When I feel empty, remind me that I am your vessel. Fill me with your overflowing love today. Lord, I surrender all frustration and exhaustion to you. Give me the desire and power to do what pleases you this day. Revive my heart and fill me with strength and obedience. Keep doing your work in me and through me. In Jesus Name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
Proverbs 23:17-Let not your heart envy sinners,
but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.