Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Struggling by the Spirit

Colossians 1:29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

29 εἰς ὃ καὶ κοπιῶ ἀγωνιζόμενος κατὰ τὴν ἐνέργειαν αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐνεργουμένην ἐν ἐμοὶ ἐν δυνάμει.

Paul is finishing up his argument here.  He is explaining how he is afflicted and works very hard to tell people about Jesus.  He says in verse 28 that his goal is that "we may present everyone mature in Christ."  How does he do this?  He struggles κατὰ τὴν ἐνέργειαν αὐτοῦ.  Very woodenly this would be "according to his energy."  How does this energy become manfested in Paul?  It is because God τὴν ἐνεργουμένην.  That is a present active participle.  God is continually doing this work in Paul.  How is He doing it?  He is doing it ἐν δυνάμει (note the omission of references to dynamite here).

What we see is that Paul struggled very hard to spread the gospel.  He knew that it was the only way for men to be saved.  He knew that the gospel was how those who believed would grow in Christ.  It is all about the gospel and that is what motivated Paul in his life.

But we see that Paul didn't do this on his own.  God certainly created Paul with certain gifts to make Him the perfect man to do this.  But that wasn't enough for Paul's mission.  It still required God's spirit to powerfully work in him.

This challenges me.  God gave me some skills and it is easy for me to trust them and rely solely on them.  However, if I'm living my life correctly I cannot do it just on my own.  That would be too easy.  I need God's power to work ἐν ἐμοὶ ἐν δυνάμει.  God must fuel my fire.  He must keep me going.

What are you doing to make that happen in your life?  I have my daily times in the Word.  I pray every morning. I have fellowship with other saints.  Basically, I try to keep up the regular spiritual disciplines.  However, none of these are effective if I do not have the right attitude.  Are you submissive to the Lord?  Do you seek Him for everything?  Do you realize that you can do nothing without His power working in you?  I often forget these things, but by grace I am reminded and press on.

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