Is the Christian life living for God and trying to meet His expectations of what a good Christian should be? Living in fear of not hearing “Well done good and faithful servant”?
We need God to live through us instead of us trying to live for God. We need to stop trying to act like Jesus, talk like Jesus, think like Jesus because we stink at it! Only God is good at being God! When we try it treats the Grace of God as meaningless.
I know stopping sounds counter intuitive, but it’s actually the way you’ll find restful assurance that God accepts you and is working in your life. God hates our attempts because they deny the work of Jesus. Attempting to earn God’s favor will lead to weariness or fear, because no matter what we do, we will never measure up. Nothing we do before or after we are saved is up to God’s standards.
That’s why Christ not only died for us- he lived a perfect life for us as well. Jesus is the ONLY one who measures up.
I remember the struggle I had with this. “But Lord, stop trying? But I’m going to be an awful person! This will be so embarrassing! If I don’t try everyone will see all of my faults!” He asked me, “Do you trust me? Do you believe what I say is true?” And do you know what happened? When I stopped trying I could actually see how God had already changed me and how He was continuing to change me. I could actually see God working! Before my vision was clouded by my own self-effort! Another benefit of letting God work instead of my own self-effort was that I didn’t go to bed every night in fear anymore. I knew God is the one that started the work in me and He was the ONLY One who could present me faultless to Himself. As it says in Jude 24 “Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.” That’s amazing! We can come into God’s presence without a single fault! Only God is able to make that happen! Not any of us!
So if we are not supposed to try harder to be a better Christian what are we supposed to do? Does that mean we can do whatever we want? Treat people the way we want? And live for ourselves? No! God has so much planned for you! Salvation was so much more than getting a ticket to heaven. He wants to change you from the inside out! So how do we live for God without our own self-effort?