"When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love."
In the daily battle that must be fought against the mindset of earning and failing my own righteousness, those two very clearly defined misconceptions somehow become the basis for my decisions. Living with an eye on the legalities of Christianity gives me cause to think that I've done well, and conversely the idea that I've soiled myself. Both mindsets are equally distructive to my walk with Christ, because both ideas put the focus on what I've managed to accomplish by myself.
In their defense, the laws of scripture are in place for a reason, and are in no way outdated or inapplicable. In order to be aware of the need for Christ as a redeemer of all seperation from God, we must be aware of our seperation. In the New Testament, Paul expresses this point exactly in reference to the freedom we have as Christians from the law because of Christ, but is immediate and adamant in his instructions that we should never play the Grace card like a purchased indulgence. Doing so is spitting in the face of the price paid. But through the sacrifice of Christ, all sins are paid for, and those who truly follow Him are free from sin, even to death. Through Him it is no longer what we've done in the past, good or bad. It is only the acceptance of His gift and the renewal of your soul by the Spirit of God. But most people know that story, and it's easy to get burned out hearing the same tired Christian cliches.
So here's what I've been thinking. Make your faith applicable to you. Even as you read, you're in that spot of your life for a reason. Those around you? There for a reason. Look at it as an opportunity to serve. It is important for we as Christians to do more than talk about it. People will only listen to you for so long. But to see your life lived out in front of them, walking with Christ as your example of patience, love, kindness and faith, they'll come away with a much deeper understanding... Perhaps even be blessed, and with their blessing bless others, all for God.
All for God.
So even then, it isn't you. God is really down with the idea of what you will allow him to do through you. Your obedience, and your permission for Him to be glorified in your life. It isn't a switch or a single decision, rather a shift of focus and priority from trying to satisfy your own desire to desiring God's movement, and what's best for His glory. His Kingdom-- here on earth. That's the motivation- the desire for God's will to become yours. Everyone's. When the men who got to hang out with Jesus on a daily basis asked Him how they should pray, the second thing on his list, just after praising His Father in Heaven was, "thy kingdom come". Jesus was teaching us to actively pursue and expect God's full return to earth. To look at the decisions that you face with God's will at the center of your pursuit of Life. That happens at McDonalds, class, the laundry room, even when you're alone.
All for God.