Introduction - Boy, are we all different! The world is colored by a vast array of personalities, opinions, and interests. Aren't we glad we are not all the same--dull...
Are You Running on a Dead Battery?
He slammed a fist on the steering wheel and growled. Ten minutes of trying, but the stupid car wouldn't start.
He got out, frowned under the hood again, then kicked the front bumper.
Battery dead. No amount of jumping it was gonna get him to work on time. The shiny battery might have a 3-month-old date stamped on it, but it was dead. Useless. It would never power another car.
Just as it is a waste of time to try to drive a car with a dead battery, it is an equally frustrating waste of time to try to live the Christian life under your own power. Where do we get the idea that Jesus came to reform us? To help us be better people? To give our flesh the motivation to try harder?
The Apostle Paul says, "Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Col 3:2-3)
That moment when we come to the cross and allow God to perform the Divine Exchange--our filthy selfishness for Christ's robes of righteousness--our flesh is killed. Paul says we are "crucified with Christ". He does not say we SHOULD be crucified. Or we should PRAY to be crucified. Scripture says we ARE.
Yet so many of us enter into God's family, give him a "thumbs-up," and head right back to our old way of doing things, believing we are now doing them for God.
We grab the steering wheel, mash the gas, and do our best to reform that flesh, those worldly impulses, those lusts and ambitions. And nothing happens. We white-knuckle our way through our version of the Christian life and wonder why it's so hard.
It's hard because you are trying to drive with a dead battery. Your fleshly self cannot make itself righteous. It has to go. It has to die so that the Spirit of God can take over. It needs to be as dead as that car battery before God can pour Himself into you and give you His power to live the way He wants you to live.
Are you running out of steam? Are you about worn out from trying harder, working more, and giving it all you've got?
Take all your best efforts and nail them to the cross with Jesus. They will never get you where you want to go. They are dead.
Now, let the Holy Spirit of God fill up those empty places and watch out! You're gonna be amazed at how effortlessly He can live His own life through you. He is much better at being God than we are.