Ephesians 2:7-10 (Message Bible), “Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”
Once we give ourselves over to Jesus, really and truly become His bond slave (a slave by choice and not by force- a love slave), we then our faced with a choice of how we are going to walk out this new life. We can continue to live by our flesh or we can live by our spirits. We each are three part beings, just like God. As he is Father/Son/Holy Spirit, we too have three parts to us. Though all of Him, the whole Godhead is Holy and there is no corruption found in Him, we still have to deal with some stuff. We are a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in this body. Our soul is the mediator between our flesh and our spirit. At salvation, God puts a new spirit in us. Our flesh however is still the same old hunk of … lust and appetites and evil and selfishness and all of the other things listed in Galatians five.
The problem is that if we continue to allow our flesh to reign, we are in for a constant struggle.
Maybe you just took a look at Galatians and are thinking, “that’s not me,” but if you are trying to walk this walk with God in your own strength, that’s the flesh. Flesh always thinks it’s about us. Our performance, our good deeds, our strength, our righteousness. This was the Pharisees’ insisting they wanted to follow the law and not take the offered Sacrifice of Jesus Christ as their atonement. This is the person who said a prayer to follow Jesus and then pushed Him out of the way and took the lead. This is that one who refuses to humble themselves and repent and ask God for help. The Sunday pew sitter who hears a good message and thinks it’s for someone else.
Living by the Spirit is just the opposite. It’s real life, not just getting by. Its freedom from the law and the whole performance based religion. Letting His Spirit lead our spirit takes all the pressure off of us. It isn’t about us anymore at all, it’s all about Him. His ability, His love, His forgiveness, His will, His performance. We can’t do the performance thing perfectly. He already did. Perfectly. Our greatest performance is nothing buy garbage.
Isaiah 64:6 (NIV), “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.”
Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players.”He was pretty much right. The thing we have to get into us is that we don’t have the lead part. Ever. God chose the cast, He set the stage, He wrote the play, He chose Himself as the lead. Which makes perfect sense don’t you think?
So what’s my greatest performance? It’s letting Him take the lead.