Many times we think that we need to work really hard as a Christian and we must try hard to live a clean life and not sin and avoid trouble. In the life of the believer this is however gladly not the case. What God promises is a much better deal! It’s the fruit of the Holy Spirit that really produces the results.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (NASB)
I tried so hard to live righteously!
For the longest time I tried really hard to do good things and love God, avoid sin. But for some reason something else happened, I sinned, a lot! So I tried harder and harder and I sinned more and more! I had way more of the works of the flesh than the Spirit! Sounds familiar? Perhaps this has been your struggle or someone you are counselling. Well the story didn’t end there!
An irresistible drive
So I was stuck but God, being rich in mercy came in His grace and I discovered the message of Grace. It was like all of a suddenly the burden of sin and trying to live right vaporized. I was all of a sudden grasped by a drive, a divine impulse began to grow inside my heart. Where once torment and struggle reigned as king now an urge was growing that was too strong to resist!
I soon began to find myself really wanting to do good things, I wanted to reach out to street people and I wanted to give to people. It was as though I had been high-jacked by someone, and that someone was Mr. Grace! The Holy Spirit started to work on changing me from the inside out. I started having this fruit in my life, I started loving and I started to forgive so radically it shocked people.
Now you must be wondering well what did you do to see all this change, what happened? Well it did take a while I’ll be honest before sin was no longer an issue and I was walking in much of what I am today. But the time it took wasn’t because I had to work really hard at something, rather that I had to learn to change my way of thinking. I had to go from trying to do it, to allowing God to do it. We hear surrender to the Lord’s work in your life and we think “Ok I need to go work at this problem.” However, surrender means to give up!
Ironically in our surrender to His Grace, we find as Paul did have a divine impulse that begins to govern our actions. It’s a driving force stronger than sin, it’s the Love of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15
For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
In the revelation that Jesus died for us and not just us but all, we find that we come under a control, a divine drive to live righteously and love others! It’s not hard and it’s not a ton of work because after all it’s the fruit of the Holy Spirit not your fruit!