As humans we have such rough edges. So glad Jesus is our Carpenter who smooths those rough spots out for us. We have cracks and His grace fills those as well. Dieing to self helps minimize those cracks and rough edges. Less of me and more of Him. Less of me means less cracks and rough edges. No need to create more work for him to do. Just making mistakes on a daily basis out of our weaknesses as humans, makes enough of them. Let alone creating rough edges and cracks on purpose through rebellion. Our Carpenter knows how to build his chairs, tables, bedframes, houses, etc. On our own, we don't have what it takes to assist Him. But if we die to self, He can manifest through us and do His work in us to do His good will in and through us. But it's not 'us' doing the work. It's not 'us' assisting him.
In and of ourselves we can not obey God. That's why He sent His own Son for us. In and of ourselves, any amount of obedience WE offer is simply filthy rags because our righteousness is nothing in His sight. If WE could OBEY, then Jesus would not have needed to die.
What he asks us to do is to die daily. When we die, He can live through us. As we die, He can live.
A man in the grave does not try to climb back out for life. Only Christ can raise the dead. Paul said we die daily. In my opinion, we need to stay dead, so He can live in us. We are to see Jesus manifest through us. It's Him who wants to walk in and among us. But when OUR obedience gets in the way, then it is US walking in and among us. We should not nor ever care to have people see US living a 'good life'. We should be concerned with dieing so Jesus can live in us and allow people to see Him in us, not us in us.
The world wide teaching of 'obeying God' gets us all tripped up in ourselves and we trip over ourselves into our own self-righteousness. That is where we fall. But many don't realize they have fallen, because they appear to be 'living a good life in obedience' but when we stop and realize we have nothing to offer, no matter how good we are, then we can die and let His resurrection power manifest in our lives. Then it is HE who is walking in us and it is HE who is obeying the Father. This makes it all about him and nothing of us...as it should be.
"By grace are you saved through faith, not of yourselves lest any man should boast.
Without faith it is impossible to please Him.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."
Only God can create a clean heart in us. Not "by the power of Holy Ghost will I transform myself into a clean heart." It's not "I will renew myself" it's O God, renew a right spirit within me.
For Him to do anything with us, in us, or through us, we must die. Not a literal death, but the spiritual death. Realizing we can't and only He can.
Anything that we deem as good in our lives is only His goodness in us, because we, on our own, are sinful in our nature. We are born in sin. It is our nature to sin. But when Christ is in us, then it is His good nature in us being seen manifesting in our lives.
It's all about Him. He's the Carpenter.
Sisterlisa is a homeschooling mom of four children and married to an evangelist who travels to bring the gospel to those in need of our Savior and who works with Rescue Ministries. She is the owner of Growing in Grace Magazine and AGMinistries.