I have always been a list maker and fueled by accomplishment for as long as I can remember. At some point, being successful and driven became the meaning behind every breath I took; I found purpose in my performance and productivity. I loved the high from “the hustle” and having my schedule full to the brim. I spent years upon year upon years crowding the margins of my existence seeking after this feeling of accomplishment.
This vicious cycle of constant hustle was all I knew for well over 20 years of my life. I still wrestle with the temptation to find my worth in my productivity and seeking my happiness when everything is “perfect.” I am what you may call a recovering “Type A” person. That is an exhausting way to live and if you are not careful, this mentality will creep into your spiritual life and soon you will be trying to work to earn God’s favor and love. Have you ever experienced these thoughts when it comes to your walk with God?
I didn’t pray enough today. I haven’t read my Bible in over a week! Man, why can’t I get over this sin?! I am such a failure! Am I even saved?
But as Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, we know that we cannot earn our salvation because it is a gift from God:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”
And just as God is sovereign in salvation, He is also sovereign in our sanctification as we learn to partner with Him in our growth in Christ. He is the one who is in charge of seeing us mature on our walk with Him. The same grace that saved us is the very same grace that keeps us and molds us into the image of Christ, each new day. From the moment of your conversion, you became God’s work-in-progress, and the greatest news of all is that He doesn’t grow weary, stressed or exhausted with you. He will complete the work He began in us!
That is why I love this encouragement from the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”(Philippians 1:6, ESV)
Our salvation has been gifted to you for the sake of Christ, for His glory, not ours. The gift to have faith in Jesus? God began that work! And if God starts it, God finishes it. We simply need to lean on His strength and grace and ask for wisdom to walk in obedience. The Holy Spirit is our Helper and He will help you walk in God’s will. You don’t have to muster up your faith muscles to see that happen. You simply need to trust that God’s plan with your life will be accomplished, not because there is anything good in you, but because of His goodness and faithfulness! If you struggle with trying to earn God’s love and forgiveness, then let us run to the throne of grace and ask the Lord to remind your heart of His steadfastness and faithfulness in your life. You are safe in His hand and promises to not only never lose any of His own, but to sanctify His children until our final day.
Thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to earth to live the perfect life for me; to fulfill the law completely for me. I trust that His death on the cross paid for my punishment of the curse of the law that I will never be able to uphold. I come boldly to the throne of grace today and receive new mercies that Christ died for me to have. Help me lean upon Your strength and grace today and see the work that You started in me continue until Your glorious return or when I meet You face to face. I trust that You are working in my heart and life and conforming me into the image of Christ day by day. Help me yield to it to Your sanctification. In Jesus’ name, amen.