It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Good Works are God’s Work
“I’m doing it, daddy!” the little girl said excitedly.
What a sight! A four-year-old behind the wheel of an oversized Sport Utility Vehicle. Her little hands not fully grasping the steering wheel. Her feet dangling inches from the floor board. Her neck craned upward, chin thrust out, eyebrows raised as high as they would go. Still, she could barely see over the dash board. But she was doing it.
“Daddy, I’m driving!”
Or so she thought. She was proud of her efforts behind the wheel, but dad was in control. His eyes were watching for any obstacles in the vacant parking lot. His foot was hovering over the brake ready to stop the behemoth vehicle in an instant. His hands were firmly grasping the steering wheel. His voice was instructing her when and how far to turn the wheel.
Spiritually, we are more hindered than a four-year-old. From the moment our life begins, we are dead in sin and separated from God. Without faith in Christ, we cannot do anything that pleases God. But the Holy Spirit works through the good news about Jesus. He connects us by faith to him who died for our sins and was raised again. He gives us life in Christ, so we can live like Christ.
The funny thing is, it looks like we are doing the work. Others see us humbly serving without expecting anything in return. They see us work without grumbling and talk without complaining. They see us lead upright, innocent lives. But really, it is God at work in us. The loving Father empowers us. The living Christ motivates us. The enlightening Spirit guides us.
Do you want God to fulfill his good purpose in you? Do you wonder what God’s good purpose for you is? The little girl skillfully moved the over-sized SUV because she was connected to power—her father. As we stay connected to Jesus in Word and sacrament, God’s power is at work in us. We will know God’s good purpose and offer our lives and lips in thanks because God is working in us.
Heavenly Father, work in me by your Word the desire and the drive to fulfill your good purpose. Amen.