“For this I toil, struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me.” – Colossians 1:29
This is Christ, the hope of glory. And for Him, we (our Jesus family) will toil, struggling with ALL His energy that He so powerfully works in us.
Every day we are toiling.
Why toil? Why work until our bodies are ready to collapse? What is this purpose of giving out every morsel of energy that He is working in us?
Oh to realize a life of Colossians 1:28 in which the deeds and truth of our lives will say: “Him (Christ) we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.”
The toiling is growing us. We are better for the paint that hasn’t yet made it off our fingers, the aching joints, and the exhaustion of giving more than we’ve got. His energy kept us awake and fully present during the late night phone call, the time we needed to pray and reflect, and for the hours we needed to sit still and listen. He is working maturity in Christ, in all of us, through our loving toil.
The toiling is costing us. Our bodies ache. Our hearts rejoice with some while simultaneously grieving with others. The time is precious sweet and we are learning in the toil to share it freely, without regard of how it impacts the rest of our day, our responsibilities and the duties that still must be done. We are being pushed, with a Holy Spirit presence, from an energy not our own. We, our fleshly power, gave out years ago, but the well of delight seems to run deeper and deeper still. Somehow we sweep the floor one more time, make another meal and go so used up that we forget to brush our teeth before we fall into bed. The reserve is near empty, but yet somehow it keeps giving out water.
See, we embody the source of true and never ending living water. Jesus is the living water, the source of all power and strength. His attributes are freely at our disposal. Our privilege is our toil. He gives us work for works sake. We can look past the provision and the accomplishment to His glory. And we can rest and bask in what only He could do.
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all.” – John 6:63
Our lives are portraying a living hope, a courage that goes farther, longer and deeper than our flesh ever could. The Spirit settles into us in ways that seem incomprehensible and changes us to look more like Jesus and less like ourselves. Nothing about it makes worldly sense, but we feel the life welling up inside us when we meet Jesus. He starts infiltrating every little part of our lives. We start to really believe that this Jesus life will allow us to live forever, because Jesus came to give life to the world. No longer do we have to find ourselves unsatisfied. The riches of the Lord take up a holy residence in the depths of who we are and we start to live by its power. We have a reservoir that never runs dry.
The toiling is stabilizing us. Our foundational life is from the power in us. God is doing the work. We are the vessel He is graciously using. He’s taking us into harder places and what we were once afraid of starts to seem so easy. What we previously termed as sacrifice, we realize was never sacrifice at all. We keep toiling because we realize the power of God is working out our faith. We are growing from this hard and He is making all the rough places smooth in us. We are weak, but our Spirit is willing. And the more we surrender, the more level the ground is beneath our shaking feet.
The toiling is our refining exposure to vulnerability, fears and weakness. The Spirit is opening up our eyes to the things we didn’t see in ourselves. The raw is healing us. The stretch is breaking us out of the mold we tried to create for ourselves and transforming us into the people we were destined to be. The sanctification will take all the days of our lives, but we are committed to run the race and keep the faith. Trusting. We will keep toiling and daring nakedness, before our Father, as we know our flesh is no help at all.
The toiling is for Jesus. He is our very life and we delight in His promises. The toiling brings the promises alive. We see His power manifested in our weakness. We believe more and more that Jesus is real and we will proclaim him, warning and sharing everything we learn, anticipating the day we will together be presented mature in Christ. He is the hope of glory and He lives in us through the Spirit. We have been given life and so we toil to learn how to live this life He has given us.