We work out the salvation that God works into us. But that salvation only works itself out as we overcome. In the forge of adversity, plunging us into the fire of calamity and hardship, sorrow and loss, The Black Smith purifies and strengthens our metal. In that fire, He brings out the life He would work within. In that fire the beauty of what He has destined us to be takes form.
We work out the salvation God works into us as we embrace the cross, with the death it demands. It is easy to lift our hands worshipping God from a full heart, without the work of the cross within. I have been there… and sin reigned.
We only become the person God longs for us to be as we overcome our greatest fears and grievances, our wrong doctrines and the excuses we make for why we are the way we are. God aches to enable us to overcome… but our strength to overcome only springs from the work of the cross within.
Too many of us have counted on the strength and power of our gifting in The Holy Spirit. That gifting can be real, even spectacular… but it does not give us the power to overcome…. only the work of the cross within gives us that power. Without realizing it, vast inner swaths of our presumption and defiance can be resisting the work of the cross, even as we are praising and serving God … keeping His salvation from being worked out in us.
To be lost means that the purpose for which were brought into being is not being realized. We have been living far beneath what God has dreamed for us. He has called us to His Kingdom to live and move in His strength, in breath-taking conformity to His righteousness…. if we miss this… we live short of our destiny, losing our true selves… and in a terrible sense we are lost to God.
That is when we most need the beauty of redemptive judgment in our lives. When judgment shakes us to the core, we begin to hunger for God, to hear Him, see Him and feel His presence… Out of our heart-hunger need for Him, something breaks open between us and we begin to learn what He is after… we begin to recognize the work that He wants to do in us, and we want it enough to embrace the cross.
At night my soul longs for You, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; For when the earth experiences Your judgments The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
Our Time Has Come