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By Lahry Sibley
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of
his good pleasure.

Salvation is a work of God from beginning to end. There would be no desire

for God, if it did not come from God. You may have noticed, in the above
scripture that the word “his” is in italics, indicating it was added. No matter
here, for God’s pleasure is always good, and good for us. Man’s pleasure has
self on the throne and God will have little to do with such a heart, except to
remind it of it’s need to repent, turn completely and entirely from willful sin.

But there’s another view of this verse I’d like to share, at least from my
humble perspective, and that is this, that God alone gives a man/woman a
desire to serve Him. Before we move on here, I’d like you to take a look at
this verse in the Amplified Bible, for the clearity of it’s dimension.

13 [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while
effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power
and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and
satisfaction and delight.
I think that sums it up very nicely. Desire is a much stronger motivator than
duty. Those who obey God out of duty, might just as well attempt to justify
themselves by obedience and fulfilling duty to God. Beloved, Christianity is
not a duty, but a desire. If and when we finally surrender self to God for
death (Romans 12:1), God does a supernatural work in our hearts that
places in us a desire to serve Him faithfully and holy. Man can no more boast
in this, than he can in his works. For it is all from God and of God, if it is the
power of God to say no to sin and yes to obedience of our Master and Lord.
We become intoxicated with His glory, infatuated with His love, that would
offer so much for our ransom from sin. Is there anything a believer can do
other than worship Him in thanksgiving, being anxious for nothing? I think

If He did not spare His Son, what else does He have, that He would hold it
back from us. He has lavished us with mercy and grace. But dear reader, He
cannot lavish this mercy and grace upon “self”. He will not move into your
heart and take up residence with you still there. “You” is full of rebellion and
self interest and must be denied daily. In fact, our beloved Apostle Paul had
this today say…..

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I,

but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I
live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself
for me.

“Self” is put to death by faith FIRST, then Christ moves in, not to co-
habitate, but to live and rule alone in our heart. Otherwise there is no power
to overcome, because there is no desire to do it. There is only a desire to
pretend to be Christian to fit in. But it is only a facad, a thin veneer placed
over wood that is rotten through and through. No Christ, no power. No death
of self first (true repentance) no newness of life. So, then what? People have
to make excuses for the sin in their life that they cannot and WILL NOT give
up. Oh they may modify their behavior somewhat. But they simply cannot
keep that old sinful self hidden. It begins to leak out, like the corruption of a
bandaged leper. When we least expect it, it shows itself to be the ugly thing
it has always been before God. UNCLEAN!!!

Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come
upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and
in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the

A witness and an ambassador of Christ, even unto death, if need be. That is
what the power is for. Does anyone think that they can RE-PRESENT Christ
by living in willful sin? It does not take a theologian to figure that out. How
blasphemous it is to the Lord and to the Holy Spirit to say that God places in
us the desire to do His good pleasure, but we simply will not do it. You will
not do it because you have no power to do it in your own strength.

1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish
foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Paul’s preaching of Jesus Christ and Him crucified did not end there. For we
see above that we must be crucified with Him, if we are to be a partaker of
the power of His victory.

Now I want to go back to Gal 2 once again and share with you the verse
after vs 20.
Gal 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness
come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

And we all can say, “Amen” to that. But what does that mean in regard to
Christian living and the law? Just this. The law has no ability to whatsoever
to make one righteous. It can only identify those who transgress it AND
those who do not choose to do so. So the law is still there because God is
still there and His law is identified with the purity of His holiness. But the
power to overcome this nature of ours to transgress comes only through the
cross, and not just the death of Christ. No, no, no. Paul never stopped there.
It begins there. But we must be crucified with Him, if we are to enter into
eternal life. If there is no death with Christ, there can be no resurrection
power in Him.

Mat 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is
none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep
the commandments.

That’s what Jesus said. Who knows more than He? One cannot keep the
commandments of God, His moral law, without the wonder working power of
the Cross. Why? Because attempts to keep it without our nature being
changed is futile. Men simply cannot do it. That’s why Paul said that all have
sinned and we all say “amen”, for we know that is true.

So we need the power of the Holy Ghost within us, working ALONE, to live
on the righteous side of God’s law and be identified by God as one who now
is obedient because we no longer transgress God’s Holy Law. The same law
that condemns, declares that we now live righteous. But something has to
take place first. We have to be MADE righteous, by the blood of the Lamb.
We must have our sin dept paid in full, and we must be redeemed. That is all
Christ. And without it, no attempt at obedience is worthy or possible.

So we must give thanks for this wonderful work of Grace. We must honor
God in all we say and do, by obeying Him. Peter said it this way……

Act 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also
the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

Who does God give the Holy Ghost power too? What did Peter say? He gives
it to them who obey Him, i.e., keep His commandments. If you are not
keeping His commandments and you have secret transgressions in your
heart, you have no Spirit filled life, beloved. It is as simple as that. No
death, no life. I don’t care how “spiritual” you may appear to others, or how
entertaining your professed spirituality might be to them. Please hear me
Preacher. Please hear me saint. If there is sin in your life, you have no
power because Pentecost has not come upon YOU! God only gives the Holy
Ghost to those who obey HIM. Make no mistake about it. Only those who
have been Crucified with Christ, does God place in their hearts, the will and
the desire to do His Good Pleasure. Obedience is His good pleasure. Amen?
Give the Lord glory today….. - Lahry