The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians chapter two, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.”
Paul says that our spiritual life should not be a series of ups and downs. Our lives are not to be a series of wild oscillations and vacillations that ebb and flow based upon the circumstances we find ourselves in, but rather a Christ centered life is based upon “in’s and out’s.” Christ works in us through the empowering of the Holy Spirit as we abide in the Vine (Christ) and we are to work out through the activities of our lives doing His will and good pleasure. God works in us and we work out to take what the Holy Spirit of God puts within us, as we in turn are to exemplify the character of Jesus Christ.
Often what happens is that we do not allow the Holy Sprit to work in us because we become full of self-centeredness instead of Christ-centeredness? Christ centeredness yields confidence in God. Self-centeredness focuses upon self and what we want to accomplish for selfish motivations. Christ centeredness is characterized by dependence upon God and His ability and provision. Self-centeredness is characterized by pride in our own abilities and personal accomplishments. Christ centeredness is characterized by seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Self-centeredness is characterized by seeking to be accepted by the world and its philosophy. Christ centeredness is seeking God’s perspective in every circumstance. Self-centeredness looks at circumstances and reacts from a human perspective.
In order for us to live a Christ centered life we must seek God’s purpose and plan in every circumstance, every facet of our life and not our own plan and purpose. Every example in the Bible that we have of individuals living a self centered life results in devastating circumstances.
As believers we are to reflect the Character of Jesus Christ. We are to progressively move in the direction of being fashioned and molded into the image of Jesus Christ. Because Jesus rose to the occasion every time and did the will of the Father every time in every circumstance we too are expected to rise to the occasion as we put our total confidence in God and obey Him every time in every situation and in every circumstance. You and I did nothing to deserve or accomplish our salvation other than believe upon Jesus Christ and receive Him as Savior by faith, but you and I must do something to exhibit it. Our speech, emotions, actions and reactions should be evident that we are working out our salvation not for the purpose of getting to heaven, or to gain God’s favor, but we work out our salvation and exhibit a Spirit led life because we know Christ as Savior and want to influence others to receive Christ as Savior as well so that they also can go to heaven.
If we are still the same miserable person that we were before we received Christ as Savior exhibiting our same self centeredness instead of Christ centeredness then we either never truly received Christ as Savior, or we have never learned to put our total confidence in the sovereignty of God and allow His Spirit to work through us to exemplify the Character of Christ.
Pastor Randy Mason