Went to the gym this morning after a weekend of not making the best food choices. Do you know what they said to me when I got there? “Good morning, have a great workout.” Can you believe that! It was great. There was no one there to chastise me for making bad choices, no one telling me I have to stay away until I do better with my eating habits, just an open door with people who wanted to see me succeed.
The sad thing is, I often do not consider that God could be even close to as gracious as the people at the gym. When I don’t live the way God wants me to, when I procrastinate my way into a hole, or when I unleash the more unkind, impatient parts of my personality I tend to keep myself from God. I figure I really don’t have any right to be near God until I get things fixed.
The reality of God is found in the best word ever – GRACE. God’s grace says, “I know you messed up, but keep working it out… fight the good fight. And, by the way, I’ll help you make it happen.”
Paul said it this way:
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (Php 2:12-13 NIV)
Doing the wrong things – STOP. Not doing the right things – START. But as you strive to be obedient, know that God realizes it’s a process and you won’t always get it right every time. Grace says you don’t have to prove yourself worthy to be with God, you just get to be with God because God is God and God is grace itself. Do we deserve to have God working in us to strengthen our will and move us to act in the right ways? No, we don’t. But if we did, that would be justice for God to give us what we deserve. Grace is God giving us more than we deserve.
Are you struggling to live life the way God would have you live? Don’t give up and don’t avoid God. Keep making the efforts to do the next right thing. Keep looking to God to make it happen. Did you have a bad day yesterday and do some wrong things and not do some right things? Well, guess what God has to say to you today… “Good morning, have a great working out of your salvation, I’ll do everything I can to help. All you need to do is ask.”
Holy high five to you, Mike.