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The Christian Life is a Dance not a March

Philippians 2:12-13 (NASB)  So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

It’s easy to read the above verses and get caught up with the word “work” in the beginning and miss the incredible freedom at the end.

I’ve lived in the “work” part for far too long and just about missed the essence of the Christian life.

It started before I truly believed. Until I was 21 years old, growing up in a socially Christian family, I thought I was going to heaven because I “believed” in Jesus and thought my good “works” outweighed my bad.  In other words, I hadn’t killed anybody and performed some good deeds like walking little old ladies across the street. In my uninformed mind, this made me good enough for heaven.

Back then, my idea of being “born again,” was associated with being judgmental and living a life of rules which choked out all joy. I had no desire to live like that.

Just like everyone else, I was searching for joy in the world around me. I had no concept that the hole in my soul was eternal and could only be filled with God himself. A trip to jail brought me to my senses and turned my attention to my creator. Eventually I surrendered my life to my Lord Jesus Christ.

This was a marvelous day, but it took me years to realize the Christian life is not just something else to “work” at. Living as a Christian is so different than anything else I’d ever experienced.

Over time, and I must admit, I’m still learning it, the true nature of living the Christian life began to become clear. Christianity is not primarily about rules, it’s about a relationship with Christ.  He did the work. Ours is to respond to what’s he’s already done.

Our life is not an arduous march to a set of rules. It’s more like a dance; us responding to Christ our partner as he leads us in a  dynamic relationship.[1]

This changes everything.

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.[2]

Spiritually, we’ve  died and Christ, by his Holy Spirit, has taken up residence in our lives. The “work” we now do is a work of dependence, yielding to Christ as he produces the fruit of his Spirit in our lives.[3]

We don’t march around like robotic soldiers to a sheet of rules. We dance with God as he leads us through difficulties as his life is formed in us.

Prayer: Most gracious, heavenly Father. I’m sorry I spent much of my life totally misunderstanding the way you interact with me as your son. You’ve not left me alone to fend for myself. You’re involved in every dance step of my life and want me to enjoy being with you through every circumstance. Draw me ever closer to you as we dance together here. I praise you that one day, I’ll see you face to face.

[1] From a conference at the Cove by Pete Briscoe about Galatians 2:20

[2] Philippians 2:13

[3] Galatians 2:20

[4] John 15:1-12

[5] John 15:5

Under Construction: A Dwelling Place for Christ

10407876_10205268823978740_56971566099135395_n (1)I read  I Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” (NKJV)

I sense the Lord has much to say about this verse, so I slow down and dig deeper.

I ask: what is the therefore there for? In other words, what should I bring forward from what has just been written to help understand this verse?

Conclusion:  In the verses before, Paul  sets our sights on the returning of Jesus, the ending of what is old and the beginning  of all things new. This brings a  sense of urgency  to the verse at hand.


Digging Deeper

Using the Strongs App on my phone  ( I highly recommend it if you enjoy digging for hidden treasure), I dig into the words comfort and edify.

Comfort – translated from the Greek word par-ak-al-eh’-o.

Jesus used the same word when he called the Holy Spirit the Comforter. The word literally means to call near or call beside.

The thought comes to me:  If I’m going to call someone beside me, I better have something to offer.

For me to be a comforter, I must be being comforted. I must be being aware of and depending upon the true Comforter,  who is calling me beside Him,  joining in what He is doing.  How dare I ever try and comfort someone else without yielding to the Indwelling  Holy Spirit. Without Christ, I can do nothing. [1]

2 Corinthians 1:3-4  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Conclusion: I can’t comfort others unless I’m allowing myself to be comforted by the Holy Spirit.


Edify – translated from the Greek word oy-kod-om-eh’-o, it  literally means to build a  house or a dwelling.

As Christians, we have been sealed with the promised Holy Spirit and have become dwelling places of Christ by His Spirit. [2]

We are all under construction

What remains is for Christ to be formed in us [3], for us to be made complete in Christ. [4]

For Christ to be formed in us, for us to be made complete in Christ,  we are to: (Summarized from Galatians 2:20)

  • fully embrace our spiritual death
  • always recognize our Indwelling Comforter
  • fully depend on Christ to love others through us

Paul calls Christ in us, the hope of glory. He states his aim to be to present every man complete in Christ, striving according to Christ’s power working mightily in him. [5]

Conclusion: Edifying another is aiming at  building a dwelling for Christ in that person’s life, regardless of the condition of their spiritual journey. Edifying another is yielding to the Indwelling Christ in you to join God in the construction process of another person’s life.


In Summary

Concluding all conclusions: In light of the certainty of a sudden change from this world to the next, keep in mind that comforting and edifying another must start with us.  If we are to call someone near to us; to labor with Christ in the construction process of a another person’s life, we need to be being comforted by the Holy Spirit and be depending upon the indwelling Holy Spirit for our every word and deed, yielding to Christ to love through us.

 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.  I Peter 4:11

[1] John 15:5

[2] Ephesians 1:13, I Corinthians 6:19

[3] Galatians 4:19

[4]  Colossians 1:28

[5]  Colossians 1:27-29