For it is God who is working in you, [enabling you] both to will and to act for His good purpose.Philippians 2:13(HCSB)
How important it is that we do not seek to do good works in our own strength. How vital that we do not carry out our kind actions and considerate deeds from the source of our old sin nature, for when we do good works that are produced by ME, rather than by God working through me, they are works of the law - works of the flesh - works of the old sin nature - works that God will not accept, for God will not share His glory with ME. All the good works that we produce in our own strength will be burned up as wood, hay, and stubble at the Bema Seat of Christ. For there is no-one that does good works, apart from God Himself.
But God has planned a whole host of good deeds for each of His children to do in our lives, and if we carry out those good deeds that God has planned for us to do in the way that God has designed, then He will regard our good works as gold and silver and precious stones at the Bema Seat of Christ.
Indeed, Jesus Himself in His earthly life demonstrated through the way that He lived, exactly HOW we should do the good works of God in a manner that is pleasing to Him. It was by faith. It was by Jesus submitting His whole life, in thought, word and deed, to the leading of the Holy Spirit so that He ONLY said and did those things that He heard from the Father.
Christ laid aside His heavenly glory to become a man so that He could actually LIVE as a man. Christ therefore submitted His WHOLE life, in thought, word, and deed, to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He set aside His deity in order to live a perfect human life. To live a perfect life as a man, Christ had to submit to the Spirit, and this He did as an act of His human free-will. Christ chose, day by day, to submit all He said and did to the Spirit. And for you and me, it is also an act of our free-will to submit all we think and say and do to the leading of the Holy Spirit of God, if we are to do the good works of God.
Only believers can produce good works that God has prepared in advance for us to do, as only believers have the indwelling Holy Spirit of God. When we abide in Christ, trust His Word, and walk in spirit and truth, we are demonstrating faith – for without faith, it is impossible to please God. When we submit our lives to the Spirit, day by day, we automatically do the good works that God has prepared for us to do, because it is God Who is working in us Himself, producing in our heart the desire to do the good works that He has prepared in advance for us to do, in the only way that is pleasing to Him (through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit), until it is not I that do the good works but the new life of Christ within.
Help me Lord to submit to Your Spirit so that I may carry out the good works that You have prepared for me to do in the only way that pleases You, which is Christ in me, the hope of glory, AMEN.