People do not drift toward holiness…
We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance;
we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom;
we drift toward superstition and call it faith.
We slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism;
we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.
For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery of trying to earn God’s approval by being good. It if you work on being self-righteous, Christ will be of no benefit to you at all! First, you’ll be obligated to obey the whole law. And then you’ll be alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace…For in Christ Jesus our external acts carry no weight – the only thing that matters is faith working through love.
paraphrase of Galatians 5:1-6
Peter denied Jesus with oaths and curses. But then he came completely to the end of himself and all of his self-sufficiency. There was no part of himself he would ever rely on again. In his state of destitution, he was finally ready to receive all that the risen Lord had for him. “. . .
…All our promises and resolutions end in denial because we have no power to accomplish them. When we come to the end of ourselves, not just mentally but completely, we are able to “receive the Holy Spirit.” The idea is that of invasion. There is now only One who directs the course of your life, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Do not despair, thinking that you cannot change yourself after so many years. Simply enter into the presence of Jesus as you are and ask him to give you a fearless heart where he can be with you. You cannot make yourself different. Jesus came to give you a new heart, a new spirit, a new mind, and a new body. Let him transform you by his love.
This Week’s Special
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin. Hebrews 4:15