Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? (NASB – sent from CadreBible)
Growing up we learn that responsibility is a hallmark of maturity. Paul even speaks of laying aside “… childish things ….” One thing we need to retain, however, is a complete dependence on God. Jesus likened this faith in God to children trust when He said that without that absolute trust that children display we couldn’t enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. This seems to present an issue for me because much of my adult life I’ve been taught that success is attainable by greater efforts. The aphorism “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” comes to mind. While God speaks to the value of industry over sloth, He also points out that spiritual goals are not attained by effort but through belief and even submission; characteristics often deemed less effective. One primary goal is righteousness and here’s what the Bible says about a Abraham.
Galatians 3:6 Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. (NASB – sent from CadreBible)
It is tempting to think I can do something like give tithes and offerings to be a holy & righteous man or to teach Sunday school or to take food to people shut in or to work on the home of someone unable to do repairs themself but reality is that I’m morally corrupt; incapable of adding value to my spiritual condition. I must depend upon the mercy of Jehovah God to deem me righteous because I believe Him and His promises. He is holy and righteous but He is also loving and just and He has made a way for people to be reconciled to Him.
I strive to differentiate my need and my design to work; my calling to do everything as though I’m doing it for Jesus from my desire to make myself a worthy man. My worth comes from being made in tge image of the one, true, living God of the universe and being loved by Him so much that He made a way to redeem me back to Himself. All other value is as fleeting as breath no matter how “real” it feels.
That is a hard lesson for me to remember often but God works miracles and changes hearts and I know He is working on mine.