“For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
It was one thing for the leaders at Philippi to try to resolve the church split even with a sensitive approach (v.12). However, it was another thing to trust God to work it out. This is the subject of verse 13.
The only way this could be realized was through God, who would enable them to do it (v. 13). Both divine enablement and human responsibility are involved in getting God’s work done.
“for it is God who works in you”
Believers are partners with God, laboring together with Him. The verb “works” (v. 13) means energizes or provides enablement. God makes His own both willing and desirous to do His work. This has to do with confidence in God’s work in God’s church. If we submit to God’s will, He will work in His own inimitable way. The word “works” in the Bible is always used supernaturally and of effective action. God’s work will not be frustrated. God will effect the result.
God is working according to a blueprint, according to specifications. He will carry out His plan. Either He will work in us, or He will work on us. Either way, He will accomplish His purpose. God has taken an oath that every Christian will ultimately be just like the Lord Jesus, no matter what it costs that person.
We have all seen the sign on the highway: “MEN AT WORK.” We can put a sign over the Christian: “GOD AT WORK.”
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (1:6).
God will enable us to resolve conflict.
Once we are born again, that triggers a process that will last until we go to glory (are glorified). God will ultimately resolve broken relationships. In the meantime, He may have to chisel, sand, steel wool, and polish us. God constantly polishes us until we have a humble attitude like the Lord Jesus. He works until we are not nearly as selfish as we were. We begin to recognize that we are hurt because we have too much pride for the size of us.