- Tell God about it. (He already knows anyway.)
- Ask him to make you good.
- Depend on him to do it.
The child’s simple response expressed the same error we so often make, “Oh I did not know that. I always thought you had to put your will into it and just do it yourself.” We don’t have to “do it ourselves.” In fact, we can’t. If we try to make our own selves holy, we will fail miserably. God will work in us, though, if we put ourselves into his hands and give him unreserved control in our lives. When we commit ourselves to the Lord’s direction, a great deal is done, not by us, but by him. He disciplines and trains us, causing everything in our lives to submit to his purpose of making us, day by day, into the image of Christ.
We don’t believe in Christ for eternal salvation one day, and the next day try to earn it on our own. That would be a foolish way to live. Asking him to conquer the sin in our lives part of the time, while in effect declaring him unable to do so the rest of the time, is every bit as foolish. Waffling between faith and self-reliance is not only painful, but also dishonoring to the Lord. While none of us will ever meet a sinless person, or live a perfect life free of failure, these promises are ours:
- We are not slaves to sin.
- We are never forced to yield.
- We can conquer sin through Jesus Christ.
- God loves and protects us even though we sin.
We may suffer the consequences of our choices, but we have not lost the umbrella of God’s protection. We are still loved. We are not condemned. Our sins were paid for by Christ’s death long ago. Our restitution is complete, but the process of our re-creation continues. We are as lumps of clay in the hands of the Divine Potter, and he continues to work on us, making us into vessels that fulfill his purposes. His pace and his ways may be vastly different from what we would choose, but he is worthy of our confidence.
(Content drawn from the work of Hannah Whitall Smith.)