“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” (Philippians 2:13, 14).
“Righteousness by Faith. This includes both justification and sanctification. The first is wholly an act of faith without the deeds of the law, accepting the righteousness of Christ as a free gift; the second is ‘God working in you’ not only ‘to will’ (justification) but also ‘to do’ of His good pleasure (sanctification). . . . While justification is the first step in righteousness by faith, sanctification is its completion. Both come through faith in Christ. . . . Only thus can anyone be either justified or sanctified, that Christ may be all in all. Col. 3:11. In the words of Paul, this is gained by ‘giving all diligence, add to your faith (to your justification) virtue – knowledge . . . . temperance, . . patience, . . godliness, . . brotherly kindness, . . charity.’ ‘He that lacketh these things . . . hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins’ (his justification), but ‘if ye do these things . . . an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’ II Peter 1:5-11.” (Sarah Elizabeth Peck, Path to the Throne of God, 111, online version)
“The tempted one needs to understand the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man—the power of decision, of choice. Everything depends on the right action of the will. Desires for goodness and purity are right, so far as they go; but if we stop here, they avail nothing. Many will go down to ruin while hoping and desiring to overcome their evil propensities. They do not yield the will to God. They do not choose to serve Him.
“God has given us the power of choice; it is ours to exercise. We cannot change our hearts, we cannot control our thoughts, our impulses, our affections. We cannot make ourselves pure, fit for God’s service. But we can choose to serve God, we can give Him our will; then He will work in us to will and to do according to His good pleasure. Thus our whole nature will be brought under the control of Christ.
“Through the right exercise of the will, an entire change may be made in the life. By yielding up the will to Christ, we ally ourselves with divine power. We receive strength from above to hold us steadfast. A pure and noble life, a life of victory over appetite and lust, is possible to everyone who will unite his weak, wavering human will to the omnipotent, unwavering will of God.” MH 176.1-176.3
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for working in me, both to will and to do of Your good pleasure. Please bless me to submit to the Holy Spirit’s influence on my heart to do what is right and to resist Satan always, that he may flee from me, according to Your promise in James 4:7. With a grateful heart and in the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
Click here for a critical presentation about righteousness by faith.
NOTE: These devotionals began as daily texts to encourage my academy roommate and dear friend of nearly 50 years, until she suddenly passed a few weeks ago (Feb 2023). Now I continue to send them to her family in honor of their mom and to you. First, I pray and look for a Bible verse or passage and find a suitable commentary (or vice versa) and add a prayer. Some days, only a Scripture and prayer are ordered. I might even add a song. If you agree to receive them, then this way I not only honor God but the memory of a very dear friend whom I desperately miss. My personal prayer is that God will bless me to find ways to multiply this blessing. So please feel free to forward to your loved ones or to anyone as God leads you. I’m calling them Barb’s Devotionals.