Devotions from  Gary Thomas’ book, The Beautiful Fight

In Phil. 2:12-13 we are told to,” Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.”

Some people mistake “letting go and  letting God” be a call to simply stop trying.  Grace is opposed to earning but not to effort. Grace doesn’t remove human effort but focuses and empowers it.
Just like a garden can be overcome by weeds in a short time, in the same way, a soul that isn’t taken care of and tended won’t support a healthy life.

We are told to come to Jesus and take his yoke and learn from Him and then we will find rest for our souls.  A yoke is not an instrument of torture; it is an instrument of mercy. It is a gentle device to make hard labor  light and to save pain. What was once impossible has become possible.  What was once burdensome now becomes light.

We can do very practical things to enter into the rest God gives.  Spiritual rest is a process, not a one time decision. We find rest when we persistently come to Him, and open our heart to Him.  Transformation is a process of coming to Him, learning from Him, modeling His character, and surrendering to His will.

Christianity is not just about being forgiven but about given the power to change.
Grace means we have the amazing joy of living life with God who is for us, loving us, empowering us and drawing us to Himself.
Are we experiencing God’s empowerment” Are we different today from what we were yesterday? 
We can cooperate with God to help make this happen, always remembering transformation is a life long journey.

“On our own, we cannot grow very far or very fast; but empowered by God, filled with His Spirit, and guided by His Word, we can become radically different people available to Him for His glory.”