God is constantly at work in our lives, encouraging us to live for Him and with Him (Philippians 2:13). He lives within us by His Spirit and as we come into line with His will His purposes are worked out. He longs for us to be in constant fellowship with Him so that he may transform us daily from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18).
But, as we know from our own experience, life is not always like this. We do our best to live according to His will, but self often gets in the way and the soul rises to the fore. Conflicts with other people irritate and frustrate us and somehow God’s will gets lost in the confusion.
Yes, there are times when things are moving along smoothly. Then we can know His joy and peace and we are able to rest in His presence. But, when pressure builds up, we discover our reactions don’t always correspond with our ideal of Christian living. Then we can become discouraged and disillusioned.
This isn’t the way it was meant to be. So, where have we gone wrong? Are we missing something? Paul said to the ‘foolish’ Galatians, ‘After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?’ (Galatians 3:3). Are we trying too hard to be the person we think God wants us to be? Are we struggling to do for ourselves what Christ has already done on the cross?
When Jesus had completed His work, through suffering and on the verge of death, He cried out, ‘It is finished’ (John 19:30). He had done all that was necessary to destroy the work of the evil one and ensure our salvation. All we have to do is accept it personally and live in His victory. ‘For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God’ (Colossians 3:3).
We no longer have to strive to be like Christ. He has made us to be like Him. ‘God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.’ (2 Corinthians 5:21). We don’t need to keep looking at ourselves, judging that we don’t measure up to the standard God wants and we’re not the kind of person we should be. Because of the cross, Jesus has made us a new creation. ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Let’s live in it.
Prayer: Thank You, Father, that You don’t sit in continual judgement of me; that You’ve put my old self to death by the cross of Jesus. Please help me to live each day in the newness of the life He has won for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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