God Has Not Left Us Alone

“I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else, not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.” ( Ephesians 1:19-23 NLT)

One of the challenges of living the Christian life is laying aside our self-effort mentality. Somehow along the way, most of us fail to connect “salvation by faith” and “living by faith”. We know that our salvation is vested in Christ alone but seem to have trouble connecting that living for Him is also vested in Christ alone.

God never intended for us to live our life in our own strength. Many believers live with the attitude that they will “do the best they can to live for God and then if they get in trouble they will ask for God’s help.” But God never intended for us to go it alone.

God Wants Us Dependent
Nothing pleases God more than for us to lean and depend on Him for every aspect of our life. Matter of fact, I believe that is what the Christian life is all about – turning every segment of our life over to his control. Why is that important? God can order and direct our life better than we can. He has a master plan that includes us. We were born for a specific purpose, during a specific time in history. (Psalm 139, 2 Timothy 1:7-9)

It’s clear from Scripture that God draws us to Himself so that He could empower us with “the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead …”. We have as our daily resource the power of God. This power was not given to us to better cope in this world, but it was given in order that we could live above this world. That’s because God is not only preparing a place for us, but He is also preparing us for a place.

The power of God sets us free from the entanglement of the world, but it also allows us to be content in this world knowing that we are here for a purpose. Wherever God plants us and whatever circumstances we find ourself in, God is there in that moment with the full power of heaven to help us see our way through with grace and purpose. Therefore, our end purpose in every situation is to glorify God.

Bottom Line
Are you drawing on the “…the incredible greatness of God’s power?” If not, it’s there for you; it’s found in the person of Christ who indwells you. God is poised and ready to carry you to the next level of maturity and trust. He wants you to live daily within the realm of His mighty power, trusting Him to do the miraculous.

Many years ago I heard a sermon by Evangelist John R. Rice. He was preaching about prayer and how God desires for us to live at a higher level of trust. I will never forget the illustration he gave to conclude his sermon. He said, “This is what I think will happen just after I get to heaven. After I pass through the pearly gates an angel will usher me to a huge warehouse. He will open the door to the warehouse and point to the vast array of blessings. Then he will say to me, “John, these are all the blessing you could have had if you had just asked. “

God wants us to live at a higher level of trust and dependence. He wants His children to trust Him for great things that only He can do. He wants to move us out of the “safe zone” to the “trust zone”. That will only come as we surrender our lives to His control and then begin to trust Him for the impossible.

“Satan is so much more in earnest than we are–he buys up the opportunity while we are wondering how much it will cost.”
― Amy Carmichael

“Now to him that is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” (Ephesians 3:19 NAS)

It is not about performance

“Apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5)

One of the benefits of God’s grace is its ability, through the Cross, to deliver us from a law mentality. The law teaches us that “in order to “be” we must perform.” The law demands performance in order to measure up. The whole purpose of the law was to reveal our unrighteousness and our inability to perform enough good works to obtain any degree of righteousness, other than our own self-righteousness.

The whole religious system has always been based on a performance based mentality. The religious hierarchy, the ceremonial formality, and sometimes even the educational system feed the perpetuation of a system that teaches or implies that we must perform in order to measure up to some sort of religious standard. Religious rules are always about control and bondage.

This is not a new thing. Jesus encountered a religious system that fought his message of grace and it eventually put him to death. The disciples lost their lives preaching this same message of salvation by God’s grace.

Even though the religious system is still alive and thriving today, I am grateful for a few solid Bible preaching churches that exists to teach the message of God’s grace and Jesus’ provision for man’s salvation.

However, in spite of the good churches there are many believers who still live in bondage to the law. Even though they will quickly tell you they are saved by grace, they live as though they are still under the law. It’s the tendency of the flesh to mix law with grace. Ever since Cain’s attempt to appease God by his offering of vegetables from his garden, man has sought to add to what God has already provided through a blood sacrifice.

Paul gives a great example of this in Galatians 3. Some of the new believers were stumbling in their new found freedom by mixing law with grace. We read about some well-meaning men from Jerusalem who were attempting to persuade new believers that they must add Jewish ceremonial law to God’s grace. Paul says, “You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you…I want to find out from you, did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”(Galatians 3:1-3 NAS)

Paul wanted to make it clear that salvation and God’s righteousness came by faith and God’s grace. They were made righteous by God’s gift not by any amount of works or law keeping. In other words, man is saved and kept by God’s grace and goodness, apart from any effort of works or law keeping.

Why is this important to know? The Christian life is not about working for God to gain His favor. It’s not about performance, but it’s about living your life in complete dependence on Him. Your Christian life began by putting your faith and trust in God’s provision for your salvation, and it is to be lived by placing your faith and trust in God’s provision to lead you every step of the way and in every season of your life.

The life of faith is about surrendering every aspect of your life to his control. As we abandon every area of our life to Him, the Holy Spirit will lead us in how to give our money, and how He wants us to serve Him. This same grace will also lead you through every major decision and crisis.

If you are trying to measure up to a set of religious rules or standards for God’s acceptance, then remember, you don’t have to “do things for God” to get his acceptance. Because you are in Christ, you are already accepted.

Then fully surrender every aspect of your life to His control and then listen for the Holy Spirit’s voice to lead you. It’s not about performance, but it’s about trusting and resting in His grace. Then, “HE -WILL- DO- IT –ALL- FOR -YOU.”

    “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him…for in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority.” (Colossians 2 NAS)