I’ve found life to be a mix of enjoyment, struggle, and problem-solving. It takes courage and management as fear pokes holes in your confidence and hurt threatens your heart. After living for awhile in this reality, a person realizes life isn’t always peace, rest, and unity. You realize you need to work it out.
Opposite Conditions Can Co-exist
Yes, this is a good life. Often, opposite kinds of conditions co-exist side by side. It’s challenging to manage them – to work it out even when the conflict of opposing realities form your reality. When challenges pile up, and you’ve worked hard with little noticeable progress, it’s hard to push forward. How do you maneuver back into hope? What you wouldn’t give for relief and peace!
I know it’s an “old go-to” and sounds religiously cliché-ish. But I’m going to say it anyway. In the thick of life’s complications, challenges, and co-existing extremes, you need Jesus! He knows what to do and is eager to guide you. He knows how to navigate through every life detail. Drawing close to God matters! It also matters to work it out! These two approaches to life really make a difference.
Work It Out by Drawing Close to God
You can’t work it out without starting here. Working it out is more than addressing your daily problems. It’s building a strong, dependent relationship with God. Trusting and obeying God gets you into His reality. When you are close to God you learn how to develop a rich and meaningful life. In fact, it’s the only way to have an intentional life. Why?
- Well – first, because God is who He claims.
- Second, He can do anything.
- Third, He loves you with a deep, rich love that will never stop.
- Fourth, being the Extraordinary Strategist in all circumstances, even when evil co-exists, He knows the path through your hardship.
- And fifth, since all these things are true, it is possible to live in hope and reclaim personal peace.
- Finally, hope in God unlocks His peace and a rich, meaningful life.
Yes, you can work it out. Trusting God through obedience keeps your heart grounded. Balanced. Every word that comes out of God’s mouth – even any discipline – empowers you to rise up into meaningful living. You can have faithful influence in this world. God steadies you as you live out His changeless principles. This is how you get traction to work it out.
Work It Out by Working Out Your Salvation
God has a purpose for your life. You need to participate in your life. That might sound strange, but so many people don’t participate in their own living. They just exist. God wants to pour so much more into and over your life. His goal is to nurture you into blameless purity while keeping you from getting warped by evil still present everywhere in this world.
God wants you to be all He designed you to be. He has the best intentions toward you, and His sleeves are rolled up to help you. Your enjoyment of life and fulfillment as a person is wrapped up in relationship with God. He wants to bless your life as you interact – be “you” – in this broken world. But this takes agreeing with Him and participating in what He wants accomplish in your life. It takes trusting and obeying Him. It takes you working out your salvation each day by your choices.
Work It Out Through Partnership
So, at this point, we need to introduce the idea of partnership. God engages purposes for you by inviting you into partnership with Himself. He does this in three ways.
You Get to Be a Governor
Since you are now a child in God’s royal family, your Father (the great King), shares His governing responsibilities and opportunities with you. This happens in the simple, ordinary ways of your daily living. It happens as you participate in your life. And it happens as you are real, transparent, and honorable.
God wants you to shine with His glory in all your life details. Ruling your daily domain for Him is your privilege. You can bring Christ into everything your life touches. This option flows out of your surrender to God – “who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.” (Phil. 2: 13) Are you learning to partner with Jesus by courageously governing what is in your scope of responsibility and influence? Are you focusing to make a difference in other lives as you intentionally live your life each day?
Managing your Personal Life
Partnering with God also means managing your personal life better. Your thoughts, attitudes, moods, habits, schedule, health, words, entertainment, and demeaner matter. Rest matters. These all shift into positive energy as you work it out with God. Have you lined your perspectives up with God’s? Do you realize you are a steward even of your personal time, affections, and involvements? Why not partner with God to accomplish His desires in your personal world?
Desires of Your Heart
God does not skip over your heart’s desires just to take care of His own desires. Ps. 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” He cares deeply that you be fulfilled. God wants you to be who He created you to be. He knows you inside-out since He created you. Until you accept yourself and strive to participate in being who God designed, you will never find lasting peace. Have you accepted His design of your life? Why not explore the desires of your heart in ways that never occurred to you before?
Make a Difference in the World
Partnering with God means making a difference in the world. And this world desperately needs help right now! It’s a bit of a mess, and lots of people are suffering. If you let Jesus influence and transform you, what you do even in private functions as a shining star that points to Christ, the Lode Star. This is a kind of real-time personal life letter others can read each day. Our broken world needs your life story. People need someone who is willing to work it out. Why not be that someone?
Work It Out Like Jesus
Why not abandon yourself to God’s care like Jesus did when He lived on earth? He was a drink offering. In the Israelite sacrificial system, a drink offering was a choice wine that was poured out onto the dirt to be lapped up. No one enjoyed the beverage. It was just – gone! Soaked up by dirt. (Ever feel like that?) Jesus was a poured-out offering. Being willing to be a poured-out offering is participating in Christ’s work to overcome evil by accepting areas you can govern, by managing your personal life, and gaining your heart’s desires in new ways you haven’t discovered yet. This is making a difference in the world. God wants someone who is willing to work it out. It matters to God when you’ve been poured out.
Application Thoughts and Questions
Have you asked God to nurture His interests in your life? Do you trust His love for you? Why not partner with Him? What action steps will you engage as you “work it out” in the specific ways this article mentions? What can you do to make a difference in the world right now for hurting people in critical times?
On a personal level, are you managing your moods, words, habits, and actions? Perhaps you have been faithful, and you feel like poured out wine – yet you don’t see many results. You wonder if it was worth the price you paid each day.
You can trust God in being poured out. He cares. The question more accurately is – are you willing to work it out? Are you willing to be poured out for God? Why not commit to work it out?
Article developed from Phil. 2:12-18