Spiritual Essentials for a Joy-Full Life ~ #9 “Our Spiritual Workout, pt. 1” – Philippians 2:12-13

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Our Spiritual “Workout,” Part 1

Philippians 2:12-13

If you would now, please take out your Bibles and turn in them to the book of Philippians, chapter 2. If you don’t have a Bible with you, there should be one under a chair in front of you. You could grab that Bible. Turn in the back portion of it to page 155, and you would find yourself at Philippians, chapter 2.

Now we’ve had a very sort of cloudy, dreary, rainy spring, but summer is coming quickly. If you’re not already involved in a physical workout, maybe you’re anticipating a get-ready-for-summer workout. There are a myriad of options out there in that arena. For example, you could choose the Six Pack abs workout. Or maybe you might pick a muscle-building workout such as you would get with a Bowflex machine or the Total Gym. One workout I came across this week was interesting to me. It’s the Tamilee Webb Defy Gravity Workout. I’m really thinking about getting that one. You know. It would be fun to defy gravity…to go through the workout, get on top of the building, jump off, and defy gravity. It sounds like a good thing to try.

A lot of different things you can choose from, and I have to admit to you in the last few months I’ve purchased some of these workouts. I have. I recently purchased the Turbo Jam workout, and also I purchased the Core Rhythms workout. That is these little dance moves, so you know, you just never know what could happen on a Sunday morning here as I work through all of these various workouts, but today what we want to talk about is…Our Spiritual “Workout.” We see that in Philippians, chapter 2, verses 12-13.

Now as we come to these two verses, I want you to know these are two of my favorite verses in all of the Bible, but I also know these are verses that confuse a number of people. A number of people come to chapter 2 in Philippians and look at verses 12 and 13 and they say, “I don’t know. That just doesn’t sound quite right.” A lot of people prefer to avoid these verses, to jog around them in their Bible study rather than running into them and really seeking to understand what they mean.

So if you have your Bible open, I would like to read verses 12 and 13, and invite you to follow along in your Bible as I read what Paul has to say to us here. He writes, “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

So we’ve entitled our message today…Our Spiritual “Workout,” and there are little quotes there by the word workout. It has two parts to it. First of all, we have the operational principle of our spiritual workout given to us in verses 12 and 13. Then we have the practical outworking of that in verses 14-18. Now we’re not going to get to verses 14-18 today but would just give you a little heads up on that. We really want to focus on the operational principle of our spiritual workout.

Now this is not just a summer-season workout. This workout is to be SOP for those who are followers of Jesus Christ…standard operating procedure. So, let’s look at these two verses and try to understand them better. You look again at verse 12. In the New American Standard, it begins with the words, “So then…” Most translations…the NIV, the New King James Version, the ESV, use the word, “Therefore…” When you see that word therefore, it’s pointing to what had come previously. What’s the therefore there for? It’s connected back to what we saw last week.

You remember how last week we were flying high on the heights of Jesus’ example. Just to remind you, if you go back and look at verse 5. In verse 5, we learn that the attitude Jesus had, the approach that Jesus had, we are to have. Then we learn from verse 6 of chapter 2 that He did not cling to His prerogatives as YHWH God out of the Old Testament. He, it says in verse 7, “emptied Himself.” We looked at that. He veiled His pre-incarnate glory, and He decided to do a voluntary, non-use of His attributes as God.

Then it tells us in verse 8 that He humbled Himself. He decided to operate in His life under the submission to the will of the Father and reliance on the Holy Spirit. He became a man. He took on humanity. He humbled Himself further to the point of death, even death on a cross, which we saw was the most scandalous and degrading death of all.

Then we saw in verses 9 to 11 that God highly exalted Him…the only time that verb is ever used anywhere in the New Testament. We ended up with the very summit of it all where every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. So then, you come to verse 12, and it says, “So then…” Or, “Therefore…” Really what he is saying to you and to me, “Be like Jesus.” Be like Jesus. Having looked at His example…be like Jesus. Live out the example of Jesus.

Now I don’t know about you, but when I see that call given to me, that seems pretty overwhelming, and to be really honest with you, it seems quite unrealistic. I’m going to be like Jesus, and you look at those verses 5 to 11? I think there are various responses that people have to that idea that we are to be like Jesus. For some people, they just freak out. I mean they just freak out. There is no way that’s going to happen in a million years. Other people’s response would be rather than to freak out, maybe to fake it. I know deep inside I’m not going to be like Jesus, so I’ll just do a little bit. I’ll kind of pretend that I can do some of that, but I’m really going to have to fake it because the reality is, I’m a long way away from being like Jesus.

I think other people when they see we are called to be like Jesus, decide to fire up the flesh. It’s not necessarily freak out or fake it, but they’re going to fire up the flesh. I’m going to have to gut this out [strain hard]. I’m going to have to grit this out [it all depends on me]. This is going to take every fiber of my being to be like Jesus. So, you see those different kinds of reactions to the call to be like Jesus, but you see God, we’re going to see today, has a different plan, has a different idea of how our “workout” is to work out.

So let’s look at these verses a little more closely. He says, “So then, having looked at this example of Jesus, you need to be like Jesus.” Notice he addresses them here in verse 12 as my beloved. Just important that we note that these people to whom he was writing were already part of God’s family. They were already brothers and sisters in Christ. In fact, if you go back to the very first verse of the whole book, he declares that they are bondservants and saints of Christ Jesus.

He’s talking to followers of Jesus, and he calls them my beloved. Then he says in verse 12… By the way, he brings a little encouragement to them. He says, “Just as you have always obeyed, not in my presence only when I was with you, but now even more when I’m not there, you are obeying and you are living a life that is worthy of Jesus Christ. You did it when I was there in my presence and you’re also doing it in my absence.”

But then we come to the part of verse 12 that causes the trouble and causes the confusion. He says, “Therefore…” Or, “So then my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation.” Work out your salvation. I want to just put freeze frame on that for a moment. I want to make two significant observations about that phrase workout your salvation. It’s important that we do this.

I want you to notice, first of all, that he does not say, “Work for your salvation.” He is not talking about a salvation by works, some sort of a self-help salvation. He is not saying that, when he says, “Work out your salvation.” We know the New Testament very clearly says that you cannot come into a relationship with God by piling up enough good works. It doesn’t happen that way. It’s not salvation by works.

Keep your finger in Philippians 2, if you would, and turn with me to the book of Romans, which is several books to the left of Philippians, and chapter 3…Romans, chapter 3. I want you to notice what it says in verse 28. It says very clearly, “We maintain…” Verse 28, “That a man is justified, declared righteous by God by faith apart from works of the law.” It’s not salvation by works. It’s not self-help salvation at all.

In fact, in chapter 4, notice verses 5 and 6. He says, “But to the one who does not work, but rather believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, places his faith in who the person of Christ is and what He has done, to that person, his faith is credited as righteousness. Just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness,” and notice the key phrase then, “…apart from works.” It’s not salvation by works. He’s not saying, back in Philippians, work for your salvation.

One other passage I want us to turn to, it’s a little bit now back toward Philippians, it’s Ephesians, chapter 2, verses 8-9, a familiar set of verses to a number of us. It’s very clear. It’s not salvation by works. It’s not working for your salvation…earning it by being good. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God.” Salvation is a gift from God. Then it goes on to clarify in verse 9, “Not as a result of works that no one may boast.” It’s not salvation by works. It’s not working for your salvation.

Let me give you a couple of other passages. You can jot them down and look them up later. Romans 11:6 says, regarding salvation, “It is by grace…” And if it’s by grace it’s no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. It’s grace. It’s a gift. If it’s based on works, then grace can no longer be grace. The moment you bring works into it, it just explodes grace.

Then Titus, chapter 3, verse 5, says, “He saved us…” Listen to what it says, “Not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness.” It’s not the good things we have done that stack up, but He has saved us according to His mercy. So when we’re back at Philippians, chapter 2, and we see verse 12, it’s important to note he says, “Work out your salvation,” not work for your salvation. Salvation is a free gift from God.

Now it is an expensive gift. It cost Jesus Christ very dearly. I know we probably all at some point have received an expensive gift, but it was a gift to us. That’s the nature of a gift. It is free to us even though it might cost someone else something. So, when we see this idea of work out your salvation, we’re simply noting first of all, it’s not work for it because the New Testament says it cannot be on the basis of works that we come into forgiveness with Jesus Christ and God the Father.

Second thing I want you to notice from this is that the New Testament speaks of three aspects of salvation. This helps us to understand what he means when he says, “Work out your salvation.” I want to give you those three aspects of salvation from the New Testament. First of all, you have positional salvation. This is when we have salvation from the penalty of sin. I want you to see that is an event. Secondly, we have as an aspect of salvation in the Bible, in the New Testament would be what can be called progressive salvation. That is salvation from the power of sin in our life and that is a process. Thirdly, as it talks about salvation in the New Testament, we have what can be called ultimate salvation. This is salvation from the very presence of sin in our life and that is an event.

Now I want you to just be thinking about those three categories, those three aspects for a moment. In the first one, positional salvation where we have salvation from the penalty of sin, this is where the gavel is dropped [a final verdict is declared] by God. He says, “It is paid in full. You are credited with the righteousness of Christ and you now have a new heart.” That’s the point of beginning our personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Now, I want you to look at that second line, the progressive salvation aspect where we are receiving salvation from the power of sin. This is where we are in the process, having to come to know Christ personally…where we are in the process of experiencing victory from our flesh. We have these fleshly tendencies. Did you notice when you came to know Christ, even though there is a new heart implanted, we still have tendencies to make mistakes, to just sin and to fall into disfavor with our behavior. That’s because we’re in a process, you see, of progressive salvation.

Then if you look at that third one, ultimate salvation from the presence of sin, this is when we finally come face to face with God in heaven. Even though in my life I’ve struggled at times with issues with my flesh, when I come face to face with Jesus that is ultimate salvation. That’s salvation from the presence of sin. There will be no more sin in my life. I won’t have that flesh to deal with. There will not be any sin in heaven. So you have those three aspects.

Now I point that out because that’s helpful when we look at verse 12 when he says, “Work out your salvation.” What salvation is he talking about? Well remember these believers to whom he was writing were already saved. They had already experienced positional salvation. That was an event that happened in their life, but now the issue they were dealing with was living that out. They were now dealing with this progressive salvation aspect in their life, that process. That’s the salvation he is talking about in verse 12 when he says, “Work out,” not work for…work out your salvation.

So, let’s look at this a little more carefully. Let’s break it apart even further. He says, “Work out your salvation.” That term that is translated work out is a term that was used of working out a math problem and coming up with the answer to the math problem. It was a term that was used of a farmer working out his crop and bringing it to the point of harvest. It is a term that was used also in working a mine where you would work out the mine and bring it to the point where the valuable ore would be in your hands.

That’s the idea when he says, “Work out your salvation.” We could translate it, “Work on it to the finish.” I like the way the New Living Translation puts it. It says, “Put into action God’s saving work in your lives.” If I could just add my own little translation to it, I might put it this way, “Realize your capacity. Work out your salvation. Put your salvation into action. Realize your spiritual capacity. Continue to spiritually develop,” is what he’s calling them to do and for us to do.

Then I want you to notice what he says next there in the verse there. He says, “Work out,” not work for, “your salvation…” This progressive aspect. Realize your capacity. Continue to spiritually develop, and then he says that we are to do it with fear and trembling. What does that really mean? Well I think that, again, the New Living Translation catches the spirit of what Paul was trying to communicate here because it says this, “Obey God with deep reverence and fear.”

What is he really doing here? He is underscoring the priority of this in your life and mine and the lives of the Philippians. He is underscoring the seriousness of following through, you know not just to receive a ticket to heaven and then we do nothing after that, but that we continue to work out our salvation, continue to realize our capacity and we do it with fear and trembling, that we take it seriously.

Now why do you think he says that? Why do you think he says that we need to take this seriously that we follow through? The answer to that is that we, I know this is hard for us to believe sometimes, but we have a vital role to play in the plan of God. Later on in this chapter, he is going to talk about part of the plan of God is to use us as lights in the world. How are people going to see and sense the reality of the person of Christ? We’re going to be the arms and the legs and the mouths for Jesus Christ.

Really what he is saying, I believe, here is this…don’t dim your wattage. Develop your wattage. That’s why we have to take this seriously. We don’t just coast along. Oh well, I’m going to heaven. That’s all I need to worry about. No, we are to work out our salvation. We’re to realize our capacity. We’re to continue to develop spiritually. We’re not to dim our wattage, we’re to develop our wattage so we can be even brighter lights at all times for the person of Christ.

Now I don’t know about you, but about this time in reading my way through verse 12, I feel a little bit overwhelmed. I mean I don’t know if you feel that way. But we’re being called to be like Jesus and to live out the example of Jesus and we’re to work it out to the finish. We’re to realize our spiritual capacity, and we’re to develop our wattage as light. Then we’re to be serious about following through on it.

I don’t know about you, but I read through verse 12, and I think, This sounds to me like fire-up-the-flesh time. This sounds to me like it’s time to gut it out, time to grit it out. If you’re thinking that, I just want you to know this…nothing could be further from the truth. That’s not where this is leading where we have to fire up the flesh and gut it out and grit it out to be like Jesus. Nothing could be further from the truth.

My favorite sport to play was basketball. Now I love…particularly love college football, but growing up my favorite sport to play was basketball. When I was in high school in New Jersey, which had the New York Knickerbockers as the professional basketball team, my idol, the one I wanted to emulate was a guy by the name of Walt Frazier. Walt Frazier was a guard for the New York Knicks and the thing that was cool about Walt Frazier was that he could play on the offensive end of the court, and he could play on the defensive end of the court. He often took the best defensive player on the other team who played guard and he would cover them.

I have to admit to you that it was my desire to embody, when I was in high school, Walt Frazier. In fact, he led, as part of the team, the Knicks to the World Championship in 1970 and 1973. So what happened is, this actually happened for a while, I so wanted to embody Walt Frazier that I had a pretty good basketball shot. I began to alter it though because I wanted to shoot more like Walt Frazier. Well that little experiment did not work out very well. I went back to my own original way, but I wanted to embody Walt Frazier out there on the basketball court. Now when I say that for many of you that dates me a lot. Some of you are saying, “I’ve never heard of Walt Frazier.”

For most of us who are guys, the ultimate person we wanted to embody if we were basketball players had to be Michael Jordan. Right? Michael Jordan, who led the Chicago Bulls to three in a row World Championships, ’91, ’92, and ’93, and then three in a row again, ’96, ’97, and ’98. In all six cases, he was the MVP, the most valuable player of the series. If you were around back in those days, and a little bit younger, you might remember that there was a campaign called Be Like Mike.

I know we have 75 dads and daughters away at the father/daughter campout, but how many guys here just had that poster maybe in their room…the Be Like Mike poster? Let me see some hands. I see a few hands going up there. I think we had six hands in the first service because the idea was, we wanted to be like Mike. The goal would be to be like Mike. Well, what if this happened? You just have to put on your imagination cap. You want to be like Mike. You want to embody Michael Jordan out on the court. You know…where you could just sort of fly through the sky. Right on down. Right? Let’s just say you got to meet Michael Jordan, and this was when Michael Jordan was in his prime and you say, “Man, it’s so cool to meet you. I’ve always wanted to just embody you and I’ve wanted to be like you, Mike.”

And what if he said this to you, “Hey, you know what? I like you. I think what I’m going to do is I’m going to adopt you as a special student of mine. What I’m going to do is I’m going to take you out on the court and I’m going to teach you how to dribble and I’m going to teach you how to jump from the top of the key and just slam it through. Not only that, I’m not going to teach all those things in practice, but when you go out on the court to play, I’m going to be right by your side. What I’m going to do is I’m going to instruct you. I’m going to give you tips. I’m going to say, okay, Bruce now is the time you take off from the top of the key and fly over to the goal.”

Now let me ask you this question. If that happened in your life, how much confidence would you have that you could play like Mike? Even if he’s there with you, that you could just fly and sky through. I think most of us would say, “Well, it would be great to get some tips, but frankly that’s a fantasy to think just because I have Michael Jordan beside me that I could be like Mike.”

Well, I want you to imagine this. What if this was to happen? What if Mike could assimilate inside of you? Yeah. What if he could actually assimilate inside your body and he could energize your body so that he could leap through you as you’re flying and he could shoot through you and he could dunk through you? You say, “Hey, that’s a little more like it. You know. I could kind of picture that happening if he could assimilate himself inside of me.”

Well here’s what’s interesting about all this. We are called to be like Jesus. To let that live out and to work its way out we are called to develop our spiritual game so that as Jesus soared, we can soar just like this. What he’s telling us…it’s more than just studying Him, which is really what we’ve been doing as we’ve looked at the previous verses last week. We’ve been studying His every move. See here’s the idea Paul wants to communicate to us is that Jesus has assimilated Himself inside of us and through the Holy Spirit who is fully God, He is resident inside of us.

See that’s the idea. Look at verse 13. He says, “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who is at work in you.” By the way, I’ve been around spiritual things now since 1970, paying a lot of attention, so I guess that makes it 39 years. One of the things I’ve observed is there is a lot of confusion out there about how the Christian life is to be lived. Some people run around and they say, “Well, you know what? There is really no role that we play in Christian life. God does it all. God just does it all. There is really no role we have.” I would just say this, if that is true, then all of the imperatives and all the commands in the New Testament are addressed to the wrong person.

See if God does it all, then those commands should be addressed to Him. But they are addressed to us. Other people run around and they say, “Well, you know what. The Christian life…that’s just our responsibility. What we need to do is strenuous effort. It all depends on our effort. We need to just reach deep down inside and we need to churn it out[tough it out]. We need to gut it out.” If people don’t say that, that’s the way they live their Christian life. We just need to be like Jesus, so get with it.

Here is the truth, men and women, the Christian life is designed by God to be an intriguing joint venture. See I live my life, I make my choices, and you live your life and you make your choices, but what we’re supposed to do is to do that in diligent dependence upon Him.

Keep your finger here and turn a couple of pages to the left to the book of Galatians, chapter 2. I want you to see a verse here that communicates this idea. Verse 20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live.” My flesh life that I had before I came into a relationship with Him has really been killed off, but I still could potentially struggle with it. Notice he says, “Christ lives in me.” Now here we go. I want you to notice particularly the last part of the verse, “And the life which I now live…” I live the live in the flesh. I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

You see I am living the life, but I am living that life in dependence on Him so He is actually living in me. It’s not a case of, if you go back to the Be Like Mike analogy where I just sit there passively, you know he has assimilated himself into me and I just sit there passively and say, “Okay Mike, live through me. I just want to watch it happen.” That’s not the way the Christian life works. We don’t just go into some kind of coast and cruise…you know, passive. See my choices are involved in this. I’m not a passive player in living the Christian life. It’s something, as we work this out that we do in diligent dependence upon Him.

So, go back to Philippians 2. Let’s look again at verse 13. He says, “Work out your salvation for God is at work in you.” The verb here is the word energeo. If you look at that word for a moment, you’ll notice a word in English that looks very similar. We get the word energy, or the verbal form energize from this word. It’s talking about the incarnational work that God does inside of us. Work out your salvation, this progressive aspect taking it seriously, for God is energizing inside of you.

Now I want you to turn over a few pages to the left to the book of Ephesians, chapter 1. I want to remind us of something that is very important for us to see. We have talked about the example of Jesus in the prior portions of chapter 2. What we need to realize is the same power that worked in Jesus as He lived out His example is the same power that is available to you and to me.

Notice some of the similarities here. He says in verse 19, as he is praying for these believers, he says, “I want you to have your eyes opened to the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might, which He was using and brought about in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named not only in this age, but also in the age to come.”

In other words, the same power that energized Jesus is the same power that is available to energize you and me in our Christian life. So when he says, “Work out your salvation for God is at work in you energizing you, and changing you and growing you…” See, men and women, we were designed by God to be dependent on Him. That’s the way we were wired from the very beginning. Now it went haywire [amiss] back in the book of Genesis, but that’s the way we were designed to be…dependent on Him. 

Flip over a couple of pages to Colossians, chapter 1, verse 29 because this is another one of my favorite verses particularly as it relates to the Christian life. Verse 29, “For this purpose, I labor, striving…” I’m making choices as I live out my salvation. But I do it, he says in verse 29, “According to His power…” And notice the last part of this, “…which mightily works within me.” He has assimilated Himself into my life through the person of the Holy Spirit. So, as we make choices in our spiritual life, as we are diligently dependent by faith on Him, God energizes the work.

If you go back to verse 13, he says, “God is at work in you,” to do two things. Both to will His good pleasure, in other words, He will be working to give you the passion and the desire to know His will and also to work for; I prefer the word, to do His good pleasure. He will also be energizing you to do His will. Again, the New Living Translation puts it this way, “God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him.”

I just want you to see this is a joint venture as we live the Christian life. I have to live the life. I have to make choices. You have to live your life. You have to make choices, but we do it if we’re going to be working out our salvation and progressing in diligent dependence upon Him. When we do that, we can…men and women…we can be like Jesus, and we can do what pleases the Heavenly Father.

Now that’s the operational principle. Behind that comes the practical outworking in verses 14-18, and I just simply give you a heads up [helpful hint] so you might be able to be reading ahead next week to see how this is to be working its way out. As we talk about our spiritual “workout,” I want to remind you of two key tools in our spiritual workout…two key tools we need to always be employing.

The first key tool is…

1. The tool of God’s Word. And I want you to turn to the right a few pages to 1 Thessalonians, chapter 2, verse 13, and we’ll see a statement here about how one of the key tools He uses in our spiritual workout is God’s Word. If you look at verse 13, of chapter 2, of 1 Thessalonians, he says, “For this reason we constantly thank God that when you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it. You welcomed it not as the word of man, but for what it really is, the Word of God.”

Then I want you to notice what he says here, “Which also performs,” not past tense. It performed just in that initial event, but it performs its work in you who believe. It is a key tool, you see, in our spiritual workout. Sometimes people say, “Well, why do you spend so much time in the Bible in your services and you talk for a long time and you spend a lot of time teaching it. Why do you do that?” Because this is a key tool in our spiritual workout. It is vital and when we take some exposure to this truth, and we ingest it into our life, it begins to perform a work in us. It’s one of the tools, the key tools that God uses to develop us spiritually.

Then I want to just remind you again because I think this is important, of a second key tool in our spiritual workout and that is…

2. God’s Spirit…God’s Spirit. You can turn your way to the gospel of John, chapter 16, and we’re going to get there in just a moment. You can turn to John 16, and we’ll be there in a moment. I just simply want you to take a moment. I know we’ve been doing this for a while. I want you to just imagine a scene. Imagine that Jesus Christ shows up at your house, and He says, “Do you know what? I’ve kind of been watching you and I like you. I’d like to do a little experiment with you. Here’s the experiment I want to do. I want to give you a choice.

Choice number one is that I will follow you this next week. I mean I’ll go off to work with you. I’ll go off to school with you. Whatever you’re going to be doing, I will follow you. While I’m following you, I will give you these little verbal reminders maybe of what you should be doing. I’ll even sort of demonstrate it for you at times. I’ll keep dropping these little hints, you know. Bruce, you really just shouldn’t be pounding on the horn of your car, saluting people, you know. That’s not a good thing to do. He says that’s one of the choices you can have. I’ll just come with you and I’ll remind you of how you could be like me.”

That’s choice number one. Choice number two is this… Let’s say He says, “Here’s the other thing you can do, and that would be that you could just have the Holy Spirit indwell you. Those are your two picks.” So, think about it for a moment. Which one would you choose? Which one would you tend to pick? Well Jesus has already told us which one is better in John 16:7 because He says to the disciples when He was with them. He said, “I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away.” But Jesus, we like You hanging around. You can show us the ropes [show us the way]. He says, “No, it’s to your advantage that I go away for if I do not go away then the Holy Spirit can’t come. But if I do go away, I will send the Holy Spirit, the Helper, to you. It’s to your advantage,” He says.

It’s just like the Be Like Mike thing. You want Mike just to follow you around, or do you want Mike to assimilate himself into you? It’s the same thing. This is a key, key tool in our spiritual workout. It’s to our advantage to have God having assimilated Himself indwelling inside of us. That’s our spiritual workout…standard operating procedure. How are you doing?

Let’s pray together: Father, we just really want to thank You for Your Word, again. We want to confess, just admit it that we were designed to be dependent on You. I would pray Father that You would deliver us from passivity where we just sit back and it’s like we’re waiting for You to do something that we realize we have choices to make and we need to live the life. But also, Father, I would pray You would deliver us from self-dependence when we’re just relying on our own power to gut it out.

What an exciting thing to think about that the very power that enlivened the person of Christ to live the life and the example He did is the very power that is available to us! We would pray that You would, that Jesus Christ would live an incarnational life through us because of the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. Father, we would pray that we would develop our wattage so that we would shine even more brightly for the person of Christ. Thank You for teaching us what You’ve taught us today. May we put it into practice in our spiritual workout. We pray these things in Jesus name, Amen.

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