I want my assurance to come from my works. My faith. My goodness.
But all my works are like ashes before God. They will be burned up in the end, they count for nothing.
My faith is nothing without God. He alone grants faith and that faith is everlasting.
And my goodness does not exist. I am a sinner in need of God's grace. The only goodness in my life is His goodness.
I try so hard to do the right things. Say the right things. Pray the right things. Look like I am trusting in God's grace alone. But really I am not. I am trusting in myself.
That is a huge burden to carry. Because, as I know so very well, I cannot do it. I fail. All the time.
Instead of trusting God to perform good works in me, I wonder why I am not growing in leaps and bounds daily. I forget that God doesn't usually work like that. He can. But He normally doesn't. He works in us slowly conforming us to His Son.
I think it would be so much easier to just do. But it is not, it impossible. And yet, every time I fall on my face trying to do, I struggle up and then try to do on my own again. I need to turn to Christ and realize that I can't do, not without Christ.
A few weeks ago I prayed that God would show me my sin clearly. So often I think I am cleaner than I am. God answered my prayer. Suddenly, I found myself sinning all the time. And nothing I could do would stop it. It was towards the end of the week that I realized that God had answered my prayer and I had not done what I should have. I should have turned to Him and begged His forgiveness and asked Him to change me.
Only God can make my heart clean. And when Christ died with me and I became God's child, I was given a new, clean heart. I don't need to try to do. I must turn to God, acknowledge my inability to do anything but fall at is feet in awe and wonder at His marvelous grace and mercy. He alone changes me and His is changing me. Daily. My weaknesses are what shows God's glory.
We sang, "The Power of the Cross", in church this morning and the second chorus wrapped up my thoughts and reminded me of what my mind should be dwelling on. The gospel.
"This the power of the cross
Son of God slain for us
What a love, what a cost
We stand forgiven at the cross"