Monday, January 8, 2018

The Secret To Living Right Is Not Trying Harder

Abraham built an altar…; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar… —Genesis 22:9

{CHAMBERS} “This event is a picture of the mistake we make in thinking that the ultimate God wants of us is the sacrifice of death. What God wants is the sacrifice through death which enables us to do what Jesus did, that is, sacrifice our lives. Not— “Lord, I am ready to go with You…to death” (Luke 22:33). But— “I am willing to be identified with Your death so that I may sacrifice my life to God.” […] God never tells us to give up things just for the sake of giving them up, but He tells us to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having, namely, life with Himself. […] It is of no value to God to give Him your life for death. He wants you to be a “living sacrifice”— to let Him have all your strengths that have been saved and sanctified through Jesus (Romans 12:1).”

{ELGIN}  So often, with good intent, we get the “flesh-cart” before the “spiritual-horse”.  Do you remember the Hertz Rent-A-Car slogan “We Try Harder?” Well, most of us Christians try really hard to do the right and not the wrong.  Paul described his struggle in Romans 7.  He wrote, “I don’t do the things I want to do but those things that I don’t want to do, that I do.”  He asks “who will save me from this body of death?”. Then he answers his own question– Jesus!  If we could live a holy life without help, then Jesus could have stayed in Heaven.  But we can’t and won’t and He didn’t.  The truth of the matter is that our doing right is a result of our being right … spiritually.  It is God-in-us that makes it possible to live our new life.  Let me quote an old friend Galatians 2:20.  “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live.  Yet not I, but Christ lives in me.  And the life which I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  The power to live my new life comes from Jesus and it is fueled or enabled by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God coupled with faith.  Not trying harder or meaning well.  Perhaps this will give you new insight in to the verse (Psalm 46:10) “Be still and know that I am God!”  It is time to stop trying and start being. You can’t live the Christian life successfully by trying harder … only by “faithing” harder.

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