Changes in our lives do not occur based on our own determination, resolve, strength, focus, etc..
They do not occur based on our ability combined with God’s ability.
They occur because the Lord works within us.
He works to create both the desire and the doing of a thing.
All based upon our dependence on Him to do exactly that.
Not What We Have Been Taught
This method of “spiritual mechanics” is not what we have been taught in our churches.
We are taught the “combination” scenario.
Or some other notion that God kicks in whenever we reach the end of what we can do. I used to think this. And I did a lot of dumb things based on this idea.
Consider how the Israelites had to walk way behind the Ark of the Covenant when they would move from place to place. With the Levites carrying the Ark in front of all the tribes.
This is a good illustration of how the Lord works with us. He requires that we wait for Him to go before us. While we keep His word always before our face. Keeping Him in the center of all that we do.
The World’s Method of Change
The world teaches an entirely different method of change. A method of behavioral change.
And Christians are way too prone to copy the world’s methods. Way too prone to pick and choose different things they can plug in to their Christian life. Trying to fit all the carnal garbage from the world’s landfill that they can incorporate into their Christian life.
The world teaches that we must do the action first. Then, after that, the desire will develop over time.
It teaches that we must do things that we don’t like to do. Doing these things over and over again for a long period of time; and, supposedly, this will develop something like a habit. Which, after a long period, will grow into something that we will like to do.
That’s basic behavioral psychology, the psychology of winning, or just basic sports-training psychology. Training the muscles and mind to do things automatically. As in creating muscle memory. All by repetition.
This is a method which Christians love to imitate in their own lives. By doing something until it becomes a pattern, a habit, and eventually a desire. Doing things they hate now in order to do things they will eventually love later.
Which has nothing at all to do with the Bible. Nothing to do with the work of God’s Spirit.
Both the Desire and the Action
Consider the following verse:
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
Who is doing the work here? Who is creating the action within us?
And, after those things, what is left over for us to do?
There is nothing here of our inner gymnastics. There is nothing here in the way that Christians tie themselves into knots trying to do all the right stuff. Trying to live perfectly for God.
Jesus said, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)
Why did he say this if the Christian-psychological method is correct? If we are just supposed to gut it out for God? If we are just supposed to do our best until God will kick in when we are at our wit’s end?
We simply do not understand the reality of the indwelling Spirit of God. We simply do not realize that all our imitations of spiritual fruit are simply “wood, hay, and stubble“.
So That the World Will See Christ
And that in all this, the world doesn’t see Jesus.
What they see are very devoted religious people. Religious people pitting their wills against their own flesh.
Just like all the other religious people do all across the globe. Who are trying to overcome their evil desires in order to please whatever deity they follow.
Tragically, we use the same methods that the world uses. And we wonder why they don’t want to become Christians. Because it is simply a display of willpower and devotion. A carnal competition.
Let’s pray that the Lord will show us Himself. That He will open our eyes to see, in His word, how He wants to do a work in us, each of us, that is infinitely unique.
If we will only rest in Him. In His sufficiency. In His Resurrection power.
To do a work in us so that His life will be manifested and the world will see Christ and not us.
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