Thursday, 31 March 2011

Working together with God

I notice that in my last few blogs I have reflected on the importance of personal discipline in the spiritual journey. This emphasis on the importance of our decisions and habits is not meant to down play the complete primacy of God’s action. The Spirit of God brings about our transformation but we are to work together with grace. At every step God relies on our consent and co-operation. All spiritual growth is a collaborative effort between the individual and the Holy Spirit.

Scripture tells us: “Continue to work out your salvation in fear and trembling, for it is God who, for His own generous purpose, works in you both the desire and the power to act” (Philippians 2:12,13).

So we are clearly told that there are two definite  parts to spiritual growth. The “working in” is God’s role; deep within each of us the Holy Spirit unceasingly draws us to deeper love and freedom. It is the grace of God that gives us both the desire and the strength for good.

But the “working out” is our responsibility; we co-operate with grace and drawing on the divine energy to make the choices that reveal themselves in Christ-like behaviour, in word and deed. God has given us a new life by the gift of the indwelling Spirit. It is now our responsibility to develop this life “in fear and trembling” – that is, take our spiritual growth seriously. 

There are still several weeks left on our Lenten journey...  time to begin again if we have slackened off!