Man, This is Hard!

Imagine that tomorrow you get ready for work and go out to your car. You get in, put the shift in Neutral, and toss your briefcase, jacket, and keys on the seat. Then you get out, slam the door, and cross to the trunk. With a mighty heave, you throw all your weight against the trunk and the car begins to move.

Eventually, you may actually get to work that way. But it will be no fun, you'll be worse for the wear, and you certainly won't look forward to doing it again.

Are you living life that way?
Just as the car was not designed to be powered by human strength, so life was not designed to be lived in your own strength--yet everyone tries it at one time or another. Rather than striving to please God, we work to appease God. And it doesn't work very well, does it?

The statistics show that failure is as prominent among people who claim to have a faith as those who claim none. Divorce rates, sexual promiscuity, porn addictions are as high among professing Christians as they are among those professing no faith at all. Why is that? Does faith in God not work for some people?

I believe the problem is found in the passage in 2 Peter we discussed in the last post. "And add to your faith virtue..." We are not adding to our faith virtue. We stop at belief, and then take over our own lives: directing our own futures, chasing our own goals. But without virtue, we cannot proceed to the following levels of maturity.

Masses of confused people repeatedly rededicate themselves, attempt to "straighten up," vow to clean up their acts, and make futile, frustrating efforts to "be a better Christian"--all efforts quite exhausting and none lasts very long.

If you were learning to fly a two-seater airplane and the engine began to sputter, would you want to hang on to the controls or hand them over to the plane's designer sitting in the pilot seat?

With the tangible presence of God in your life, you don't have to try to be a better Christian. Living in harmony with God is not work--it's what you exist to do. God's very real presence in your life changes you: your interests, your desires, your habits. YOU don't change yourself, God does it for you.

Take a long look inside your secret soul. Are you trying really hard to be what you ought to be?
You'll never make it. It's impossible and will make you utterly miserable in the process.

God offers you a much more pleasant option: Stop Trying So Hard. Just give up. You lose the right to dictate your flight plan, but you gain the privilege of being piloted by the designer.

And he's pretty good company during the ride!

No comments: