I started BSF last week - Bible Study Fellowship - on tuesday nights.
What drew me to BSF the most is that they were going to be studying Paul's letter to the Philippians. We studied Philippians at Passion and since returning from that conference I have been praying for God to give me an outlet for studying His word in a disciplined way. I need structure or else I tend to not stay on track.
We are studying Philippians and it has been so powerful to read Paul's letter and really study it in context with what Paul was going through and what his relationship was with the church in Philippi.
But what is most amazing, is that God is answering the prayers of my heart in the words of Paul...
Reflections on Philippians chapter 1:
1. HE will perfect HIS work in me...
God: (gentle whisper) "Miranda, follow me..."
Miranda: "um... what does that mean?"
God: "Follow me..."
Miranda: "Yeah, I get it, but what does that look like?"
I spent 40 hours a week in a cubicle taking calls from people who are booking trips all over the world and I help them find flights, tours, travelers insurance, hostels, hotels, etc... I get home from work and I study for my 12 credits of online classes. In the midst of all that, I spend time with friends and family as much as I can... or I read and sleep.
What does it look like in MY daily life to follow God??
"For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." Phil 1:6
Repeat: "HE who began a good work in you will perfect [HIS GOOD WORK]..."GOD is the one who began the good work in me. HE is the one who put it in me and convicted me or impassioned me for HIS purposes! Everything good or hopeful or promising thing in me is from God. Therefore this concern and desire in my heart to follow God is from Him. Even the confusion and concern in my heart about why I DON'T want to follow God is from the Lord. The fact that it unsettles me that I don't desire after God is a sign that God is beginning His work in me.
And just as it is God who began the work in you, it is also God who will continue to bring it to fruition. Later on in Philippians, Paul says:
"work out your salvation with fear and trembling..."Which lets face it, does NOT sit well with someone who is anti-legalism... but what most people fail to realize is that although the verse ends, the sentence does not (don't get me started on the verse and chapter divisions of the Bible, I will just get angry). The WHOLE sentence says:
"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 pleasures."Paul is talking about obedience as an act of "working out your salvation" and he goes on to explain that it is GOD who will be doing the "work" in you.
Therefore, what Paul is saying in verse 6 is that God will both give you the desire AND the tools... He will place in you the stirring AND will do the work to bring that stirring to full-fledged passion. God starts the work... and then He CONTINUES to do the work. Your job is to obey... basically just trust Him with myself and walk forward in faith to the things he sets before me.
He calls me to follow Him and then gives me the strength to step forward in faith toward Him...