How growing in Christ is not about straining harder but surrendering fiercer

When God said, “Let there be light,” there was light.

When God said, “Let there be dry ground,” there was dry ground.

God’s Word created reality.

When God’s Word tells us, “Your sins are forgiven!” — all of our sins are dismissed, forgotten. They are completely gone.

When God’s Word tells us, “You are perfectly holy before me,” we are perfectly holy before Him.  Judged worthy to be in His Almighty Presence.

God’s Word creates existence from nothing. God created new life — a new light from complete darkness.

The mystery of faith corresponds with the pattern of how God created the world. He formed something out of nothing. In salvation, God created life from death.

Do we have a tendency to view Creation as an ordinary event? Seeds grow. Word’s appear. Pictures painted. A child is conceived.

il_570xN.108532658Right now, my wife is busy creating a Humpty-Dumpty doll for our first grandchild. It’s the same doll pattern my wife’s mother used to give to our daughter. Careful attention is given to each detail. Great love is poured into every stitch. The doll will come alive when the last clump of stuffing is gently pressed into the fabric. There is joy in the creation and there is joy in the giving.

Faith receives God’s creation. Birthed out of love, bestowed out of grace, faith brings new life, a new way, a new truth that comes from the father through Jesus Christ.

Faith doesn’t destroy the original, but recreates a new spirit.

God doesn’t destroy over what is already there, but simply renders it “false.”

All our sins are absorbed on the cross. All of Christ’s righteousness is given to those who trust in Him. We are forgiven — we are changed… but not entirely. Our old self remains. Believers are holy and clean, God says, because of who they are in Christ. The beauty, grace and image of God are there, but a new life is enclosed around something contrary to God.

1621son_worshipAnd there lies the secret of holy living. Its far more about God than about us. Obedience is created. Good works are fruit that comes from remaining connected to the Vine.

The growth in a Christian life is not about straining harder, but surrendering fiercer. When self is sacrificed at the altar of pride and works-righteousness — and other motivations that are not God pleasing — the Holy Spirit builds, strengthens, and inspires us to break free from comfort zones and serve God in ways we can never have imagined.

It is here, at the cross, and from the cross, that we share God’s Word, live His Word, and introduce His presence to the world.

We witness well. Together. In Christ.

3 Comments on “How growing in Christ is not about straining harder but surrendering fiercer

    • Thanks for the comment. To me, there seems to be an act of aggression, if not courage, to surrender. Perhaps the word “fiercer” conveys that better.

  1. Reblogged this on No Ordinary Day and commented:
    The growth in a Christian life is not about straining harder, but surrendering fiercer. When self is sacrificed at the altar of pride and works-righteousness — and other motivations that are not God pleasing — the Holy Spirit builds, strengthens, and inspires us to break free from comfort zones and serve God in ways we can never have imagined.

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