God Working Through Us
Introduction. (Phil. 2:12-13). One of the greatest challenges of faith is
identifying the work of God in the present world.
We imagine that it would be easier if
God’s work could be seen directly.
Israel saw the Red Sea parted; Judas saw
Jesus walk on water; Nebuchadnezzar saw three souls delivered from flames—yet
all turned from God.
How Does God Work in This World? Often, we struggle with seeing God as either so directly responsible for
all things, and thus to blame for hardship—or so removed from us that He
doesn’t care and does nothing. We must understand that not all work (even among
humans) is direct.
Illustration: My father made great effort before
his death to make provision for my mother’s care in the event of his death. She
now has all that she needs. This was largely because of his work—but it is not
direct work. When we consider God’s work in this world, it is clear…
through His providence (Acts 14:17)—“without testimony” (NIV).
Illustration: My father’s will was a written declaration of his desire.
It carries legal force to carry out his desires. In the same way…
through His word (1 Thess. 2:13).
The text we
began with in Phil. 2:13 suggests yet another way that God works just as surely
as He does in these ways, but in a way which is sometimes not recognized as it
works IN and THROUGH His people. Note: I am not talking about some miraculous or extraordinary action by
which God forces action or takes over the will. Rather, as Christians we must
recognize that when we allow His word to work in us and through us we become
instruments by which God works in this world to carry out His will.
We are God’s
“workmanship” (Eph. 2:8-10). There are works He wants us to do. Worship? Yes.
Moral living? Yes. Service to others? Yes. Teaching and example? Yes.
How often do we
see this in Scripture?
Eunuch (Acts 8:26-40). There is some miraculous action here, but not in the
heart of the Eunuch. Philip’s words allowed the word of God to work in this
man’s heart. God worked through Philip to win a soul.
Paul was (and
we are) “workers together with Him” (2 Cor. 6:1). In teaching the gospel
God worked through Him to teach others.
others (2 Cor. 9:6-15). Not merely a good deed done, but God working through
His people. Note…
“grace” (i.e. the ability to help) abound to “have an abundance to every good
work” (vs. 8).
“seed to the sower” (vs. 10).
“thanksgiving to God” (vs. 11). God does it through His people.
abilities (1 Pet. 4:11). When we use these abilities, God works in us and
through us (Phil. 4:18-20).
Two Important Questions. If God’s
work through His people is a real and important way in which God works in the
present world it leaves us with two important questions:
Do we recognize
and look for God’s work through His people in our own lives?
We need each
other in Christ for many reasons, but one is because we need God’s work in our
lives that comes to us through others.
encouragement, edification, correction, support, teaching, and love.
Are we carrying
out God’s work in the hearts and lives of others through our actions?
The watchmen (Ezek.
instruments by which God works in others—or by which a work of God is not done
in the lives of others. Will we carry out this role or leave it undone? (Esth.