Driven to perform….

February 6, 2010 at 8:23 am 1 comment

Most of my Christian life can be summed up with one word: PERFORM. You need to pray more, read the word more, be at church more, give more to the church, witness more, more obedience, more, more, more. The Christian life became all about ME, ME, ME. This (certain thing) happened to ME because I had failed God here, here, and here. This (certain thing) didn’t happen to ME because I hadn’t kept up my end of the bargain. And so, back to the endless cycle of trying to please a God who demands nothing short of total perfection.

It came to our attention a few years ago, that we (my wife and I) had fallen into a trap. We were trying to earn our way with God. It’s a subtle thing. After all, your heart really wants to do the right thing, and your flesh is oh so willing to take you another direction. So there’s this constant struggle. As much as we all may be able to identify with all of that, the trap is this: My right standing with God has nothing to do with how well I’m doing as a Christian, how well I’m doing morally, how well I’m doing spiritually, or how well I’m doing at anything. If my righteousness is based on my performance – then I have fallen into this trap. When my right standing with God is based on what I do – when I’m good – I’m looking down my nose at others who have not quite attainted to where I am. When I’m not so good – I’m a rich young ruler who hasn’t quite got what it takes to follow Him, so I go away totally crushed. I have to admit that I’ve spent more time in my life discouraged than I have spent with the elite. But I also have to tell you, being among the elite is something I no longer value, but in fact disdain.

My right standing with God is based on one thing and one thing only: Jesus Christ is my righteousness – not what I do.

There are things that I call life lessons. These are situations that you’ve been in that are extremely difficult. I’d have to say a congenital heart defect that wasn’t diagnosed until I was almost 50 is one of those life lessons. You see, I was born with this heart problem, and there wasn’t anything I could do to change it. That’s what I call the human dilemma – a messed up heart that is not fixable. As much as I would like to be something or someone else, it’s not going to happen because of my own effort. It’s not like I can start eating granola and this thing is going to get better. Peter came to the same conclusion at Cornelius’ house when God poured out His Spirit on a bunch of lawless Gentiles:

“God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear?” (Ac 15:8-10 NIV)

The issue is this: Are we going to trust in our own efforts on reaching God or are we coming to God exclusively by faith – based TOTALLY on the finished work of Jesus Christ? That Great Surgeon who performed an operation on Adam and extracted Eve from his opened side is the only one that has the ability to take a heart like mine – and turn it into something better. Won’t you turn from your ME centered gospel – and turn to the real gospel that is centered entirely and totally on JESUS CHRIST?

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Entry filed under: Testimony.

Your Wound is Incurable A Righteousness I cannot earn

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jim Hall  |  February 26, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Hi brother Jerry,

    I enjoy your articles. You have gained such spiritual wisdom and insight by going through The Crucible.

    When you are involved with me, you certainly don’t have to worry about being with “the elite.” I would describe myself as “discouraged, but always hopeful.”

    There is nothing in me that is of any value to anyone; save Jesus in me (and I don’t know why He would want to take up residence there – except that He is full of grace, love and mercy).

    Jerry, I have told many people about your blog and I hope you can find many ways to publicize it.

    You have a lot to write that is important to the Body of Christ.

    To anyone who comes past my comment: please pray for me because I am losing my ability to stand and to walk due to progressive Diabetic Neuropathy (nerve damage) in my legs. I am also in a terrible position financially due to my illness and need God’s help urgently in that area as well.

    God bless, Jim Hall

    Reply

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