First off, let me go ahead and give a disclaimer. The following passage is from the Message. But I like the word choice. So…
What I’m getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you’ve done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I’m separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure. // Philippians 2:12-13
Responsive Obedience: When I think of responsive, I automatically think of responsive web design, which is when a website will change (and still look good) regardless of your screen size. If you have a large screen, it will be bigger, if you have a small screen, it will shrink…even if you are viewing it from a mobile device. It notices its surroundings and adapts to display its content most effectively.
So when I see responsive obedience, that’s where my mind goes too. You evaluate your situation and react accordingly to what you see and what you already know and have learned. To me, it means becoming more obedient as you learn and grow. Hopefully becoming more obedient (and displaying that obedience most effectively).
Redouble Your Efforts: Sometimes just putting forth the effort is hard enough for me to do. Which means most of the time, doubling my effort is quite more difficult. Which means redoubling my effort (as in doubling my effort more than once, possibly twice, or even more!) is usually out of my reach. I can’t just keep doing what I’ve done in the past, even if it was sufficient.
When we put forth just enough of our efforts to get by, we miss out on so much that God wants us to experience. He asks us to give more so that we must rely on him and in the process, he always gives us back more. But I often get stuck at the me giving more stage.
Be Energetic…That Energy is God’s Energy: Well this is a good thing to remember when I’m trying to redouble my efforts! First, I need to be energetic aka active, animated, lively, peppy, tireless, spirited, snappy, vivacious, zippy (some of my favorite entries in the thesaurus). I feel like it’s impossible to be energetic all the time. Probably because I try to do it myself. But I should be relying on God to keep me active, animated, lively, peppy, tireless, spirited, snappy, vivacious & zippy! After all, it’s his energy that makes it possible.
God Himself is Willing and Working at What Will Give Him the Most Pleasure: There’s this lesson I seem to forget and find myself relearning over and over. There are times (more often than should happen) when I know God wants me to do something and I don’t want to do it. And I tell him that. And he still wants me to do it. And I give in, sometimes more grudgingly than other times. And every. single. time I am blessed by what has happened.
I think it comes back to this statement. God himself is willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure. If we allow God to use us and work through us, what gives him the most pleasure also gives us the most pleasure because in the process, God makes our heart and our desires to line up more closely with his.
These are the phrases that I like from this particular passage from the Message and why I like some of the word choices!