Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
The life of David offers many opportunities for us to learn how God works in people and through people. David was a young boy, taking care of his father’s sheep, when he was called by God to become a skillful fighter, later a king, a leader of an army, and to be remembered as of the greatest man in history. On the other hand, the owner of the “upper room” (Acts 1:13), where the foundation of the church can be tracked to, remains anonymous. Both individuals were used by God to have an enormous impact in history. They were both instruments in the hands of God, no matter of their background, skills or weaknesses.
We, too, can become instruments in the hand of God. According to Philippians 1:4-11 this is a process, a “good work” which is started by God and completed by Him. It’s His initiative, He is the planner, He is the one who equips (transforms) us into the tools He wants to use and He is also responsible for the work we do for Him. Our part is to allow Him to work in us. This is expressed as a growing commitment to serve Him and to allow change to happen in our lives. Paul is praying that Philippians show an abundant love towards people, and that this is accompanied by an ever growing knowledge of Him and deeper insights. Paul expects the Philippians to continually transform into the likeness of Christ, so that they can become partners with him in the gospel, and so be used by God as instruments for the salvation of others.
When we allow God to work in us this way, His Holy Spirit is enabling us to “discern what is best”, that is, to concentrate on the matters of the Kingdom of God, the holy things and to not invest ourselves in the matters of this world. As Christians, we are set apart for the works God prepared for us. As instruments of God, the Holy Spirit works on transforming us into pure and blameless people because “those who cleanse themselves […] will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work” (2 Timothy 2:21). Another result of God’s work in us, and of our living as instruments in His hands, is that we will eventually show the fruit of righteousness. Not our own righteousness, but that which is of God – the likeness of Christ, and therefore in itself an all-sufficient fruit. Bearing fruit is not the result of desire, but of growth. Righteousness will only be ripe/fulfilled on His Day, but it takes a process of inward growing to see this fruit.
With this perspective in mind, we don’t need to compare our “performance” to that of others, we don’t need to evaluate our adequacy or skillset to be used by God, and we don’t have to worry about the role we want to play in history. God can use everyone. Just like the members of the body each have a definite role to play while in the body, all we need to do is stay connected to the body of Christ (Ephesians 5:30) “from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow” (Colossians 2:19).
May the Lord help us stay connected to His body, so we can grow, become holy, pure, and righteous, “filled with the fullness of God” on the day of the Lord!