So many times God is looking to us for our choice and our intention. Straight from our hearts, He longs to see our purposed direction, rather than our performance. He has proven this over and over again; He has to always be the performance of His own Will. Throughout all of the Old Testament He continually proved to us that performance is not possible from the created, only by the Creator.
This is such amazing news because to struggle against our impossibility only brings us despair. Think about it, it’s debilitating to be required to perform a task and have no ability to do it. Imagine if your boss gave you an impossible task and said to you, “If you don’t do this, you’re fired!” Some of us would just sit down and cry, others might put in a fighting effort, but it has already been determined that the task is impossible. Just debilitating, huh? Well, the Holy Life is the same. Righteousness is God’s own Life, one we personally will fail to perform outside of His performance!
But our Holy God has a living standard we’re all required to meet. None of us are exempt, and failure to meet this requirement requires death. In the Old Testament, it was the death of bulls and goats. And in the New Testament, our redeemer Jesus Christ is our living sacrifice. But death has always been the only satisfaction for failing to meet the requirements of the Law. Praise God He gave us Himself as the Solution! Yet He still yearns for our intention to be displayed. It reveals to us and to Him the direction of our heart. It’s the faith that pleases Him. This faith is moving intention but not performance.
The Intention of Abraham
To me, one of the best stories in the Bible that reveals this is the story of Abraham and Isaac. It so clearly shows God’s desire for our intention over our performance. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son of promise on top of Mount Moriah. Mount Moriah is the mountain that the modern day Temple Mount sits upon. But the tippy top of that mountain is actually located further north of the Temple Mount. The actual top is up another 90 feet higher. The peak of Mount Moriah is a place we now call Golgotha. This is the very place that our Heavenly Father sacrificed His only begotten Son on the Cross. Yes, on the very place where He asked Abraham to express his intentions by connecting his heart to an act and give his choice of faith, this is where The Father sacrificed His Son. In Abraham’s day, God was looking for Abraham’s heart intention and choice of obedience but as a shadow of what God would actually perform. He never was looking for Abraham to perform the act, though he perfectly displayed his intention.
Intention and Performance
God so longs for our intention towards Him to be revealed. All the while, He loves to be the only performance of His Will and Life. I’ve said over and over on this blog that Christ is looking to be the life of our life. “Christ’s Life as my life is His Life in my life, and that’s not my life as His life.” God’s holiness and righteousness emanates from His very own Life. We’ve been set free from the slavery and fear of performance and have been given, in the Life of Christ, the power to perform. This is not a strength bestowed upon us to help us to live life but rather His own indwelling Life. He indwells us and lives His requirements through us!
Jesus’ work on the Cross liberated us from the demand of perfectly performing The Law’s requirements. This is a task that has been proven to be impossible. And our liberation wasn’t for license but for the liberty of experiencing His Life lived through us. We fulfill the Law of the Spirit by His Life.
I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
Galatians 2:20-21 HCSB