The Lord never expects from my self-life, He expects only from the Life of His Son. My persistent insistence that my self-life brings forth godliness will be met with only frustration, depression, and defeat. Expecting Life from my self-life is like expecting a diamond to come from a mud pie.
My Self-Life – Good or Bad Fruit
My preoccupation, inspection, and perfectionism will never push me over the threshold into Holiness. “Good” behavior possibly, but not the Life of Christ. Bad fruit cannot come from a Good Tree and Good Fruit cannot come from a bad tree. My self-life is just a bad tree with bad fruit, and this is inevitable. It’s only His Life that is the Good Tree with Good Fruit. Sure, I might be able to polish up and wax my fruit to make it appear good in the moment, but with one bite, the rotten core would be revealed. My obsessive-compulsive demand that I be His Life without His living it is nothing but foolishness.
I’m sure it’s a huge insult to God to attempt my makeshift solution when Christ Himself gave me the Absolute Provision. He paid an extreme price to make His Life my reality. To now, in arrogance, think that I could do it better simply through greater effort is just ridiculous.
My Self-Life – Effort is Blasphemy
Years back I infamously heard the Lord speak, “Effort is Blasphemy!” I don’t think I can ever get too far from that word. I used to be addicted to my attempts, my trying, and my blasphemous efforts. And if I let myself return to autopilot, I can find myself returning to work rather than remaining in His Life and Rest. This happens whenever I am not willing to wait on His Life. And that always has a lackluster end, which ultimately reveals itself as DEATH. My self-life is not Christ’s Life even if I got the job done. The difference is eternity and eternalness. What He does, no matter how small, is eternal, and my doings will just burn in the fire no matter how epic they may boast in being.
I am on this because while driving to the pool today, I realized the stringent expectation we can have on ourselves. It took me a long time to learn this but in my almost fifty years, I now see that when it is Christ, it has a beautiful end. The beauty might not appear to my eyes immediately, but it is always, without fail, the best course of action whether I see it in hindsight or instantly.
My Choice — My Self-Life
I am done with expecting Life from my self-life. I am going to live in the grace and beauty of relying on Christ’s Life. It not only alleviates the stress and strain of having to produce, but it also makes me a more pleasant person to live with (hehehe).
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Galatians 2:20 NASB