We make spiritual progress only because God within us is doing the work:
…He who began a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return]. Phil. 1:6 AMP
God wraps His arms around you and never lets go. All the while, He’s working within you, bringing you to spiritual perfection – preparing you for your Christ-deliverance into eternity.
We help God maximize that work when we embrace His path to the best of our ability:
…that your love may abound more and more [displaying itself in greater depth] in real knowledge and practical insight, so that you may surely learn to recognize and treasure what is excellent [identifying the best, and distinguishing moral differences], and that you may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ [actually living lives that lead others away from sin]… Phil. 1:9, 10. AMP
It sounds like a monumental task, but it really isn’t. If you continue searching the word of God and live out His commandments, the Holy Spirit will constantly bring you greater revelation of God’s purposes, which, He wants to fulfill through you. As you do this, God occupies more of your heart, tweaking your perfection, and applying compassion: picking you up when you fall short, and setting your feet back upon His path. So, you see that the odds of completing your mission are really stacked in your favor.
And how does that mission look?
Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ…standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents – which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake… Phil. 1:27 – 29. NASB
…having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his interests, but also to the interests of others. Phil. 2:2 – 4. ESV
It always comes down to walking the walk. The more that we emulate Jesus, the more of God’s purpose will be revealed – where He immerses us in His love, so that we can radiate that love outwards.
When we pursue our spiritual progress, Christ brings us closer to Him and His Father, revealing yet more of God’s divine plan, and allowing us to play an ever-increasing part. In that part, we must stand in faith and unity for the gospel, even in the face of worldly opposition – tirelessly working through whatever suffering the world brings to bear, continuing to usher in more souls for salvation.
God calls us to be humble and live in peace – united in Christ, holding the needs of others above our own.
Jesus is the ultimate example of humility: He relinquished His divine nature and stature, in order to become a mere mortal. In so doing, He could feel our sufferings; and out of His limitless compassion, take our deserved divine punishment upon Himself, for the salvation of the mortals that He and His father love so much.
Likewise, it is to the glory of the Father and the Son, that we too put our personal concerns aside, and strive to bring the Key (Jesus) to the kingdom to everyone that we can touch in our lifetime:
…it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life… Phil. 2:13 – 16. NKJV
We must be diligent in our continual pursuit of spiritual progress. We cannot forget the reverence that we must hold for God and His Son, nor the imperative that we must muster for completing the tasks that They set before us – especially in the face of opposition:
…I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Phil. 3:7 – 11. NKJV
We don’t have to be perfect in our endeavor. Nevertheless, we remain a marvelous work in spiritual progress because of our sincere efforts:
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Phil. 3:12 ESV
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. Phil. 3:20, 21. NKJV
Transformed and transcendent.
We are content because we have faith. We have faith because Christ empowers us. We have abundance because our Father is a promise-keeper. (Phil. 4:11, 13 & 19.)
You are a marvelous work in progress…
Goodnight and God bless.