Ceasing from Futile Efforts

Much of what we do in this world is busyness. We get overly involved and double-booked in our schedule; yet make no time for play, worship and fellowship with family and friends.

We burn the candle at both ends until we burn out, making our self sick in the process. We have so many irons in the fire that we can barely keep everything straight even with a calendar and sticky notes.

We have so little of our self to put into each endeavor that they are all lacking to some degree or another. We constantly run from one plate to another to keep them all up in the air and spinning.

The rare person who learns the value and secret of entering God’s rest, ceases this striving in the flesh, follows the leading of God’s Spirit each moment of the day, and trusts in God’s overall plan for their life (Hebrews 4:7-10).

They are more interested in accomplishing the works which God preordained for them to do than in fulfilling their own goals and agendas (Ephesians 2:10).

They are not tempted by the world, the flesh or the devil to compete or to get ahead in this world. The trappings of life have lost their glitter and are no longer appealing.

They line up their desires with the purpose of God for their life. They love Him above all else and they hunger and thirst for the manifestation of His presence to fill their body, soul and spirit (Ephesians 3:18-19).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for Your law, which showed us the futility of attempting to reach fulfillment by human means and measures. We are so glad that Your law pointed us to Christ and His finished work on Calvary.

A life in Your presence is ours once we convert from a child of this world to Your child – forever free of the cares of this life and joyously cared for by You (John 3:16-18; Romans 3:19-25; 1 Peter 5:7). Thank You for using us to demonstrate Your righteousness to the world around us and draw us ever closer to Your rivers of living water within us.

Thought for the Day:
What time is there in life for rest, recreation, serenity and fulfillment amidst the turmoil of agitated rushing after useless pursuits in a state of disorder, the tyranny of cares and the mountain of depression rising within our soul?

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Our Futile Self-Life

Our Futile Self-Life

In our finite existence, we experience many areas of life, which are extremely painful and almost impossible to survive. However, with God, all things are possible (Luke 18:27). So, when God dwells in us, we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37), and we can accomplish whatever He calls us to do (Ephesians 2:10). Outside of His anointing, we are powerless and our efforts are futile (John 15:5). We reap no lasting value from all of our earnest, but frantic works for God.

In truth, God does not expect us to succeed apart from Him. As Paul declares, we often concede to sin when we actually want to walk in holiness. We cannot even achieve many of the spiritual goals we set for our self (Romans 7:15-24). There is no shame in this. The shame comes when we persist in living for God from our own self-efforts. We continually fall short, and we live in disgrace and depression because of our failures.

Our attitudes influence our body, soul and spirit. Criticism, gossip, self-pity, depression, anger and bitterness all strongly impact our soul, which in turn affects our body and spirit. Once we realize the futility of attempting holiness on our own, we can sigh in relief and stop disparaging and demeaning our character or someone else’s failings (Proverbs 15:4, 18:21). Living a holy life is impossible for us, but more than possible for Christ in us (Colossians 1:27).

Our part is to guard our body, soul and spirit and to live in surrender to God’s will (Proverbs 4:23; Proverbs 3:5-6). As we meditate on God’s precepts and guard what we focus on, we will mirror His Word and delight in His Truth (Psalm 119:15-16). We are all lost and undone on our own, but Christ is victorious in and through us. When we come to the end of our self-efforts and completely surrender to God’s Spirit and Lordship, then God can actually use us for His glory.

Prayer:
Father God, we know that Your power is manifest only in our helplessness. As we daily surrender to Your will, You conquer our self-life and fleshly carnality. We are in Your care and You live out Your will in our surrendered life. We are strengthened by Your might in our inner core (Ephesians 3:14-21). Holiness and consecration bring revival in us and in Your church, so help us to deepen our union with You in all things.

Thought for the Day:
It is only as we realize our utter human hopelessness, and depend entirely on God, that He can use us for His glory.