“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
“Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8, 9 KJ/AV
As children. we’re taught to obey. We’re given a bunch of rules to live by: Look both ways before you cross the street, don’t talk back, do good unto others as you would have them do unto you, God helps those who help themselves.
In church, we’re taught the 10 commandments. We learn the thou shalt nots: Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not covet — and more.
But when we become an adult in the faith, when we have surrendered our lives to God and become filled with his Holy Spirit, the standard changes. Instead of being of focused on all the things we shouldn’t be doing, we need to focus on God. Our relationship with him supersedes everything else in our lives!
We no longer need to ask questions like am I being good, a good son or daughter, brother or sister, friend, husband or wife, or even a good employee? We don’t have to ask if we are being wise, spending our time wisely, or even doing all we can do to overcome evil in the world.
We may be tempted to continue in the mindset with which we were trained. We may look to bless others, doing favors and donating to good causes. We may be constantly looking to achieve more, become more successful, more prosperous, even more victorious in all we undertake.
But the still small voice of God inside quiets us. What matters is whether we are pleasing him! There certainly is nothing wrong with trying to be good and do good. Yet when the focus is on God, when our goal is to please him every day, using our time for his glory, we have made the better choice. We can trust him to see that the others things are no longer issues. We will BE good (at least most of the time). We will BE wise (because fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, Proverbs 9:10). We will, at the very least, BE on our way to being the person he made us to be.
Instead of being caught up in the frenzy of doing more than we have the time, or expertise, to do, we can rest in the Lord — knowing he is able to complete us and accomplish the work. Instead of being driven to perform, working long hours to the point of weariness, forcing ourselves to do jobs we detest, we can envelope ourselves in the peace that comes from HIM.
We can rest knowing we are NOT deficient. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14 KJ/AV “There is no want to them that fear him.” Psalm 34:9 KJ/AV We have enough time, energy, health, and resources to accomplish what God would have us do.
Sure, it is tempting to try and do and see what God will allow us to accomplish with the talents, abilities and opportunities God has given us. He may allow us to do that for a season because we can learn a lot from dabbling in different careers or career paths.
We even may remind ourselves God helps those that helps themselves. But ultimately, to please God, we need to draw the line and protect ourselves from striving. We need to remember to love ourselves. Driving ourselves into the ground to accomplish unrealistic goals is not godly.
Yes, we will need to work. We cannot expect to succeed without it. Yet to run and not grow weary, we should plan on resting in the Lord. We should plan on setting aside time to hear his voice, endeavoring to be in the center of HIS will — and not our own.
Cheryl Rogers publishes New Christian Books Online Magazine, a free online publication promoting/selling kingdom-building books, at http://www.songsfromtheword.com/NewChristianBooks.
After coming to know the Lord as an adult through a serious illness, she wrote Fast Track to Victory, A Christian Guidebook, a 40-lesson devotions book teaching lessons she wished she would have known earlier. She writes fiction & nonfiction for all ages, including the mystery/adventure Lost in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery.[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B009R9XLPG” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/513ohVXFT5L._SL160_.jpg” width=”107″][easyazon-link asin=”B009R9XLPG” locale=”us”]Lost in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery (Bible Camp Mysteries)[/easyazon-link]
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