Is God at work in you?

When I ask that question, I’m not asking if you’re religious. Or if you’re spiritual. Or if you’re a regular churchgoer. Or if you’re a good person. Or if you do a lot of good works.

You can be any of these things or all of them, and still lack God’s presence within you. In the New Testament era, most Pharisees could have checked off all these items. But Jesus said that instead of being full of God, they were full of hypocrisy and lawlessness (Matthew 23.27-28).

Two passages from Philippians come to mind when I think about God working in us.

  • Philippians 1.6 – “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good workin you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
  • Philippians 2.12-13 – “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as inmy 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 pleasure.”Both texts state that God was at work in the lives of the Christians in Philippi.

The first text emphasized Paul’s confidence that God was still at work in them, thatwhat God had started he would finish. What comfort to know that the day we obeyed Christ as Lord was the day God began to change us. What assurance to know that he won’t finish working on us until the day Jesus returns.

The second text emphasized Paul’s expectation of them, that they must continue to work even if Paul wasn’t around, because they were doing God’s work. How challenging to adopt God’s will as our own. How sobering to know that God has expectations for us.


  1. Look for changed priorities. If God is at work within us, what’s important to himbecomes important to us. What we once valued will no longer be valuable; what weonce neglected becomes significant.
  2. Look for changed relationships. If God is at work within us, our friendships and familyrelationships will change. We learn to look at others through the eyes of Jesus. We learnto love others as God does.
  3. Look for changed attitudes. If God is at work within us, we’ll no longer think the waythe world thinks. Our attitudes about time, money, work, politics, entertainment, morality, possessions, status, race, poverty, and religion will radically shift. If we’ve been Christians for some time, and we still resemble our unbelieving neighbors, we need to ask if we’re letting God work within us.

Years ago, my twin sister had a keychain that said, “Be patient. God isn’t finished with me yet.” For all of us in Christ, that’s really good news.