I overheard a group of people talking this evening and their conversation caught my attention. One of the young men was talking about how he had changed his ways because of God. He was telling the others the things in life he had given up and the things that he now did for God on a daily basis. As I listened I began to realize, often is the thought of the new believer that there is something we must do to please God. Many are still under the belief that by acting good we are doing that, which is commanded of us.
I listened to as much of the conversation as I could before I had to throw my 2 cents in and this is what it amounted to.
I proceeded to tell them, “There is nothing you can do to please God aside from worshipping Him and giving thanks for your salvation through the shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross. Our vain attempts to please Him only push us farther away from the understanding of the truth. It is only when we stop trying (or give up) that He is truly able to be apparent in us. We must first be removed so that His light can be seen in us.” I told the young man to simply stop trying to do what you think God wants you to do and let Him do what He wants to do through you.
This is a strange concept, one that I have still not fully grasped, but I do find it works. When I truly surrender my will and allow Him to take over completely, I find that I am closer to Him than I ever am when I TRY to be a good disciple.
After I finished talking to them I sat there a few more minutes and listened to the conversation revert back to its original topic. It seemed I hadn’t gotten across to them, but then I realized something. It is a very hard thing to accept. It is hard to accept that nothing more is required of us than to simply believe. As humans we feel the need to “do” and not just “be”. It amazes me that so many are content to be lazy in life, but work so hard in their faith. Trying to earn your salvation is not faith. Don’t take me wrong, I know that “faith without works is dead,” but I am not talking about that. I am not telling anyone not to put their faith into action. I am saying that as humans inhabiting an inherent sinful body, we cannot possibly hope to be good little Christians by our own effort. The Spirit is given to us not only as a comforter, but also as a guide in life, that He may live through us. If we allow Him to live our lives for us we cannot fail, but if WE try to live our lives for Him we will fail every time.