A young man, who obviously didn’t catch what I was saying, walked up to me after hearing me teach at the jail and said, “I think I understand what you’re saying. Are you saying, God meets us at the point of our best effort?” My immediate response was “I have always found that God meets me at the point of my greatest weakness.”
Later on, while pondering this young man’s question, I thought to myself, this is like saying “Do your best and God will do the rest.” While this may sound like wisdom at first, what I’ve discovered is it is really a false belief that we are independent and God is here to help. I knew a man who used to say things like, “God gave His very best for you; so you should give your very best for Him.” While we’re talking about this we might as well throw out the ever-present “God helps those who help themselves” too.
As a believer in Jesus Christ I am declaring Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I am not saying, I’m going to try harder, do better, change my life, start going to church, etc. No, what I’m saying is I could not save myself, I don’t know how to live life the way God intends, and apart from Christ I’m hopeless.
According to Colossians 3 “Christ is my life.” He isn’t a part of my life, He doesn’t simply give me life. He is my life! The Apostle Paul said, “For me to live is Christ…” and “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” When Paul said, “I’m crucified with Christ” he meant he in fact died when Christ died, was buried when Christ was buried and rose when He rose.
Jesus Himself said, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” When Jesus says, “you can do nothing” I take that literally. When that young man said, “God meets us at the point of our greatest effort” I couldn’t help but think to myself, “he still thinks he has something to do with this.” He’s going to “help” God out.
It is true the Apostle Paul told us we are God’s co-laborers but from what I can understand our greatest labor seems to be entering into His rest. We are so used to “being all you can be”, and “going for the gusto” we have totally missed the fact that the work of salvation is God’s alone. We are called to bear fruit but we aren’t the ones who produce it. Only the vine produces fruit and as the branches we are called to simply bear it.