It’s almost too easy for us who are born-again Christians to get off-track in our understanding and walk. We rate our intentions to do this good or that good as a pleasing issue before God. Something’s missing, and the culprit is us, living out the ‘self-life’. Thank God that Jesus was not the average man, revolving around the self. He was the supreme, or we might say, the only example of pure selflessness.
If you are a born-again Christian, the meaning of that word is broken down to mean ‘a follower of Christ’. He’s done it all in advance, and our calling is to follow him. Puzzling, most are unaware that this frequently becomes the breeding ground of self’s domain. Self-effort sneaks in as an effort to authenticate our Christian identity.
One of my very favorite authors is Watchman Nee, a Chinese evangelist. He died in 1972 after being in prison for 20 years as a result of false charges. Of his many books, the one I recommend most is The Normal Christian Life. If you are prone to read, my strongest urge is that you get this small book, even in paperback, if you are serious about your walk with God. It will open your eyes to much which you’ve never been taught about the real meaning of our faith and walk with the Savior. For instance, you will find the flaws in all our good intentions to be a “good Christian”. When Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do
nothing”, He was saying that everything we have done and still can do with our good intentions apart from Him is nothing. Since God is the only legitimate Originator in all creation, His Holy Spirit is the only legitimate initiator in our hearts. Our problem came when we let self become the initiator.
It is imperative that we know whether God is really leading us, or whether we are just being moved by our feelings, senses or imaginations. Inasmuch as self is usually so misdirecting, our true knowledge of self comes not from our searching ourselves, but from God searching us. In
Romans 7 we see a true man of God trying to please God in righteousness, and the law exposes him. He is trying to please God by using his own carnal power. But, the cross confronts him and he thus says, “I cannot satisfy God with my powers; I can only trust the Holy Spirit to do that in me.” One day that natural force impelling you is touched, and then you no longer do it because you want to, but because the Lord wants it. The temptation is always to try to help God by taking things back ourselves’.
He is not looking at our effort. He is seeking our worship. He is calling for our availability. He is measuring our faithfulness. He is desiring us to lay self at His feet. Our trying is not our mission.