DON’T STRIVE 2021
Some Christians aware of the need to be spiritual – can make the mistake of becoming unnatural.
I drifted into this in my early Christian experience.
We can be so zealous about wanting to please God that we are rather like the child who wants to paint the yard like daddy, but ends up with more paint on themselves than on the walls.
By that I mean, we immaturely try in our own ‘steam’ to be what God wants us to be – Paul the apostle has some advice for us:
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
The word ‘frustrate’ is very descriptive here – we end up frustrated because we have not learnt how to avail ourselves of God’s wonderful gift of Grace.
Grace not just for salvation, but for living. Rejoicing in our acceptance and maintaining intimacy through prayer and Bible meditation – changes us – and our behaviour.
The behavioural change is then manifest through the fruits of The Holy Spirit in our lives. Coming and appearing as they do from the inside-out.
A lot of unbelievers perceive Christianity to be only about the do’s and dont’s of a moral life lived.
Their perception is one of constant Straining to keep the ten commandments. The real point of relationship with Jesus Christ is not factored-into their reckoning.
Unfortunately this wrong perception can be true of Christians also.
17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.
It is this consciousness of needing to perform that leads us astray into thinking that there is something good in our flesh and that we can find there, the resources we need to be good.
Paul states the dilemma every human being is in.
Even those who want to do what is right face that dilemma. The more we strive to be ‘good’ the further away it seems to go from us.
For those who ask the Living Christ into their innermost being through turning to Him and admitting they are contaminated by the sin nature, but are willing to give-in to Him receive another life – the very life of God through the indwelling Holy Spirit.
He it is, that we must learn to submit to. By so doing and allowing His mind, The Word of God, The Bible to replace our thoughts we increase in spiritual maturity and grow to be more like Him, while we maintain our meditation – centred on Christ, having received Him by faith.
We need to be reminded of this daily, as Christians. I’m glad to be the one today that reminds you, in so doing I remind myself:
12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,