Most people come to God and go to church for what they can get from God. They want a better life, a blessed family and to go to heaven when they die. That is part of a western world culture, to seek God, to be their genie in a bottle, their server; the one who waits on them and provides their every need. The truth of the Gospel says we must die to self, serve others and let the kingdom of God be in us, heaven on earth. Jesus told us die to self and follow Him, be like Him, be His disciple and show the love of God to a lost world.
There is a perverted gospel that will build a shrine to God and try to perform good deeds that may give the appearance of love but it is self-serving. Some people will perform to get blessings from God, favour and His protection. They come to God for what He can do for them; not for a changed life and to look like Christ. Some even preach a message to come to God for what He can do for them, for the riches, blessing and favour of God. Rather than speaking truth that we are loved by God and He died because we are His children who have value, purpose and God ordained destiny.
Jesus came to show us the way to the Father. We are to die to the fallen man; self-centeredness and to become as servants and live as His children. Young children submit and are obedient to authority. This is God’s call to everyone who is truly born again, to obey His Word. When people are not rooted in the truth of God’s love for them through Jesus, they will try to compensate by trying to earn God’s love, blessing and approval through performing deeds they think are good. When they fail to live up to the impossible standards, of their own righteousness, then they become condemned and believe they are failures.
It is when we are anchored in the truth of the gospel, and God’s love for us through Jesus, then we can enjoy the fellowship of God as a loving Father. His purpose is to transform us into the Image of His Son. If we do not rest on the completed work of Jesus and His righteousness, we may become overwhelmed by our sins and inability to change our behavior.
So often many people turn to pretending and performing. They start performing and working in the church or their community to gain acknowledgement and feel good about themselves. But often times they are constantly aware of their failures. Then comes the comparison- I am not as bad as those people; or the making of excuses- I am not really that bad. Often they will give reasons for their behavior. You do not know what was done to me or, what I have been through. Because of pride, people rarely want to admit they are sinful or fail, so they spin the situation in their favor.
Pride and the constant concern with self is the main reason many people never change their lives and never experience a true repentance. Repentance is a true turning from the old way of life to a new way of thinking and living. The only way to be free from pride is to die to self. We are called to be dead with Christ so that we shall live with Him.
Romans 6: 6 – 8 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him… KJV
So many people have fallen into the trap of pretending they are well or trying to perform good works to gain value and worth, but still only find themselves crushed by the weight and reality of their sin. It is only in the completed work of Jesus that we can rest our lives, die to self and be transformed to look like the love of God on the earth. Many people have a confession but God wants a transformation. Knowing the truth of God’s word and the power of the Holy Spirit gives us the integrity we need to live a life for the love of God and not for self.
Rest in this, Jesus died to put us in right standing and fellowship with God. He knew our created purpose, identity and Godly destiny. When we rest in the love God has for us we will begin to understand that nothing we do or fail to do will keep us from His love.