“Anything done in our own strength will either fail miserably or succeed even more miserably.” G.K. Chesterton
Guy Stevens, the Director of NEO360, a church planting network here in NE Ohio, once shared this quote with me. It reminds me how necessary if is for us to be empowered by The Holy Spirit.
Jesus said, “And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49
Getting things done while not being empowered by the Spirit equals doing good things through self-effort (in our own strength). That’s a sure-fire way of doing nothing of eternal value. Getting things done through self-effort is fruitless.
Ecclesiastes calls it “chasing after the wind.” I Corinthians calls it “wood, hay, and stubble” that burn up on the day of judgment. Galatians calls it “running in vain.” Philippians calls it “laboring in vain.” Hebrews calls it “dead works.” No wonder self-effort leads to misery, not joy.
Our deeds done when we’re not abiding in Christ may be successful in men’s eyes, but they are not successful in God’s eyes. And, in that sense, they fail. And to make matters worse, the “success” can reinforce even more self-effort on our part. That’s why I sometimes pray, “O God, save me from ‘successful’ self-effort.”
May we be God-dependent, Spirit-filled, Jesus-focused people who bear the fruit of the Spirit every day all day.
“Lord, let us live empowered by Your Spirit… with great joy, not misery!”
This is the way to Live New!