As God works "in" me, He is able to do more and more "through" me. And shouldn't that be my goal? - To allow and have God work "through" me? Shouldn't my desire be to have God do His work in this world (my community, my friendships, Meadow Spring) through me? I was not saved for my own sake. God saved me for His sake, His glory, and His purpose.
There is a dual responsibility here as stated in Philippians 2:12-13. I "work out" my salvation (my responsibility) and God "works in" me (His responsibility.) And the more I allow Him to work in me the more I will work out my salvation (see yesterday's entry from Philippians 2:12). In fact, it would be an unavoidable by-product to have God work through me if I'm allowing Him to work in me. Warren Wiersbe wrote, "If the workman is what he ought to be, the work will be what it ought to be."
But how? How does God work in me? Wiersbe writes there are three ways God works in me (us)... 1) the Word of God; 2) Prayer; and 3) Suffering. According to Wiersbe, these three are the primary "tools" God uses to mold me, fashion me, transform me, "work" in me. I believe there are others but these three - especially prayer seems to be foremost in my mind now.
You see, my prayer life stinks to be honest. I can spend time in God's Word. And I experience suffering by way of criticism from the outside and depression from the inside just to name two. But prayer is a whole 'nuther thing. Oh, I think I do fine (but is "fine" what I should be doing?) in what is traditionally called "prayer arrows". But spending focused and extended time in prayer is pretty much non-existent in my life. Yup, this pastor struggles with prayer. And just writing that is extremely convicting.
I have said in my teaching and now need to "practice what I preach" that when I think I have prayed enough I need to pray more and when I have prayed more, I have not yet prayed enough. Someone else said "More prayer. More power. How's your power?"
I want God to work "in" and "through" me. I must pursue a higher level of prayer. Period.