Thursday, April 17, 2008

Will-Powered Faith

This post was written by Beth Moore's son-in-law, Curtis Jones. If I was a little computer savvier, I would just post the link, but I'm not, so I copied and pasted instead :) It really spoke to me of how trying to do things without the power of the Holy Spirit is going to end in disaster, one way or the other.

"I’m the king of commitments. My specialty is spiritual commitments. I’m going to read through the Bible in one year. I’m going to share my faith every day. I’m going pray with my wife every night. You name the commitment and I guarantee I have made it. And broken it. Each time I come with good intentions, a pure heart, and an intense desire to do what is right, but rarely does it work.

Will-powered faith is the worst kind of faith. A relationship with God that is rooted in our ability or strength is doomed to fail for two reasons. First, a will-powered faith will result in self-loathing. We make commitments, try our hardest, give it our all, and fail. So we try again…and fail. And the only person we have to blame is ourselves. Some of us suffer from a spiritual depression because we have lived in a cycle between trying and failing for so long. Second, if our will-powered faith doesn’t end in self-loathing it is because it ended in self-righteousness. We make commitments, try our hardest, and we succeed. We congratulate ourselves on a job well done. Then we look around and notice that other people are not experiencing the same success we are. Why don’t they try as hard as me? Maybe they are just not as godly. Self-loathing or self-righteousness—God hates both.

That’s why he sent us a Helper. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:16-17, ESV). Jesus said it was to our advantage that He went away so He could send the Holy Spirit (John 16:7) to rescue us from the inevitable cycle of human strength-centered living. He will give us the help that we cannot give ourselves. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph 3:20-21, ESV). The Holy Spirit’s power at work within you, the same power that raised Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11), is able to do for you supernaturally what you could not do naturally: live for Jesus and resist fast food."

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