Wait. Who Is Doing the Work?


… Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. —Philippians 2:12b-13 NLT

It’s Labor Day, and I am contemplating a conundrum that I have as a Christian. The Bible instructs me to work hard and to surrender to God, who works in me. I am to do my utmost to please Him. Yet, I must also understand that apart from Him, I can do nothing. How on earth do I live that out in a way that is right and pleasing to God? Am I working too hard in my own strength? Am I being lazy, just hoping God moves through me while I sit around? What is the right way to work as a Christian?

I actually love this verse, even though it has puzzled me for years. It helps me see both sides of the Christian life at the same time. One side teaches me that I am to expend effort for the Lord. I am to conform my will to His, obeying Him even when it’s difficult or unpleasant. The other side reminds me that, ultimately, I am under His sovereign care, and He will enable me to do what He asks. So, how do we do this thing called work?

We work hard. We delight in the great gift of salvation, and we desire to show others by the way we live how sweet it is to be saved by grace and to follow the One who created us with purpose.

We obey God. How do we know what God wants? We read His Living Word, the Bible, and do what it says. That means we don’t lie, even when it is highly uncomfortable to tell the truth. It means we treat others with kindness and patience and love, even if they are our enemies. It means we actually pray for those enemies and bless them. It means we honor those in authority while still obeying God rather than man when a person in authority demands we do something against God’s stated will.

We obey with deep reverence and fear. We remember that although He saved us out of His great and unfathomable love for us, He is also the One who made the oceans and the stars and controls the very air we breathe. We are to respect Him and honor Him.

Yet through all this obeying and respecting runs a deep channel of Holy Spirit power working in us. God enables us to do the work He asks us to do. We are not left on our own to try to muscle through it all. Not only does He give strength to the weary, but He even gives us the desire we need to love those enemies and serve when we’d rather be served.

The very best way to do work is when we willingly start our day with Him in His Word and in prayer, asking for the ability to stay yoked to Him all day long, walking in tandem together, and leaning on His strength for the chores and duties of the day. Jesus offers us His help so clearly:

“Come to me, all you who are weary
and burdened, 
and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
—Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

Dear Father, I am so grateful that when You call me to work, You come alongside me and offer me Your help. When I walk with You, Lord, the burden is light, and I find rest for my soul. Thank you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

You are loved,




Sweet Selah Ministries

To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Oh! Where have I heard this before?!!!! It seems to be a most applicable lesson being confirmed every where I turn:)❤️

    • Isn’t it fun when God repeats His messages to us? I wrote this awhile ago, and then – Pastor Joel preached on the same thing yesterday! I love how God works.

  • Margaret Fowler
    September 4, 2023 7:25 pm

    Walk with the Lord and find rest for my soul. Yes, we all long for that. I like the thought that God will enable us to do the work He has called us to do. I can’t do much now, but thankful for the little things, and the joy of serving in small ways.


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