Faith - June 9, 2016

Stop Trying So Hard

I’ve sort of always believed (or hoped) that the longer I was a christian, the holier I would become. When I think about it in a metaphorical sense, I could explain it (holiness or intimacy with God) as this mountain I’m climbing. And my hope is that the harder I climb and the faster I run, the easier it will become to live this life (on Earth, with God). My thought process is that maybe eventually I’ll get to one of those look out spots where I’ll be able to see how far I’ve come – how far I’ve climbed.

I know this isn’t true – christianity is not a race and it’s certainly not something I can apply brute effort and force to (although sometimes I wish it were). But even now I KNOW in my brain it’s not true, I still believe it somewhere deep inside. And my actions are evidence.

I think we all get more spiritually mature, sure. But the struggle and waging war against sin will still feel all the more REAL – today and 30 years later. And even though we are “a new creation in Christ” (yahoo!), we are still living in a broken world in a body enslaved to sin.

Almost daily, I find myself trying to work for God’s approval – or towards holiness. I have to stop myself sometimes and remember that it’s not about how hard I work. That knowing more about the bible is not going to make God love me any more than he already does. Because he loves His children (myself included) more than I’ll EVER know or understand.

And when I catch myself thinking this way, I have to make myself stop studying, stop journaling, stop TRYING so darn hard and just….straight up STOP. Stop it all and simply BE STILL before Him. And why is this SO DARN hard for me? It’s painfully difficult.

My heart longs for intimacy with God and sometimes i just wish I could apply my tenacious work ethic to get there – if I just try a little harder, then maybe I’ll hear from Him or have another revelation. But that’s just not how it works. We can’t work our way to anything – but instead we must LET Him do the work. And that’s the HARD part, my friends. trust me, I know from experience.