Are there times when I do live righteously and honestly desire God, even in my self-effort? No, because without God’s enablement, I can do nothing. Ephessians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are you saved by faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” This means that my salvation and any good or righteous thing I do is from God. I am His child. What an awesome thought, that I can rest in the fact that I am a sinner and can do no good, so I need Christ. Therefore any good that comes from me is because I am in Christ. I am ever fixed in the Vine, who is Christ. Christ, who bears all fruit of righteousness, flows through me. I can, in fact do this life, not because of anything I do, but because He lives in me. So, “Lord, I pray You will enable me to do ___ because Christ lives in me.”
Are there things in your life you feel are out of control? Do these questions come to mind: Does God really care? Does God love me? Does God understand me? Does God have my best in mind? Because of my naturally fearful flesh, these are questions I am tempted to answer “no” to every day. I often think that I am the best one to understand me, that I have my best in mind, and that I am the only one who knows how to love me better than anyone else. So, when I have finished doing all of my Christian responsibilities I feel more in control and secure. However, when responsibilities or situations get too difficult, then its time to go to God.
“Lord, I pray that You would help me to do___.” Many times I find myself praying this prayer. A cry of despair and a real need of help from God. But, most of those times, I regret to say that those prayers were prayed after a long period of self-effort attempts to live the Christian life. A Christ-less mindset bearing a fruitless work. Reading the first few chapters of Jerry Bridges’, “True Community,” my eyes have been exposed to this life-style open in its raw form. My countless efforts to be God in my life are worth nothing.