Phil.2:13 – Amp – For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.
This verse touches on the greatest of all miracles, to actually love and enjoy different things than we used to. I think the most surprising thing about my conversion was the changing of the things I love; it was sudden and dramatic for me. As a lost person I loved the pleasures of the flesh. I was consumed with marijuana and alcohol, it was the way I lived my everyday life. Why would I change, I liked these pleasures of the flesh. Then, unexpectedly, the conflict began in me. I became interested in Jesus. He became strangely and irresistibly attractive to me. When I opened my heart to Him I was done, I found the desire to get high replaced with a desire to follow Jesus. I began to love the Bible and gathering with other Christians. My life had been permanently changed. Here is how Matthew Henry describes this work of God.
“God is ready to agree with his grace and to help our faithful endeavors. The actions of God’s grace in us, far from excusing us, are intended to spur us on in our endeavors. “And work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for he works in you. Work with fear, because he works from his good pleasure.” To will and to do. It is the grace of God that inclines the will to do what is good; it is the grace of God that then enables us to perform it. Of his good pleasure. Just as we cannot act without God’s grace, so we cannot pretend to deserve that grace.”
Henry broke the work of God down into two distinct acts. He said that the Lord “inclined our will” to follow Him and then enabled us to actually follow through. Those two things are huge. So many people struggle with their old way of life; what is the answer? Cling to Jesus, allow His love to capture your heart. Allow Him to change your heart. Where and how does this happen? For me three things are critical. First worship often with the community of believers. Second, dig deeply into the word of God, Finally, worship the Lord, let worship become your very breath. This is the way your desires and actions will come under the influence of the Lord.