Monday, January 24, 2011

Balancing dependence on God with diligent effort

In our struggle against sin we must have a balance between our utter dependance on God's power and our responsibility to diligently resist sin.

It is easy to get these two out of balance by going to one extreme or the other. One extreme would be a self reliant attitude where we resist sin but don't ask for God's help. The other extreme would be where we asked God to change us but we don't engage our will and provide resistance. We just expect God to do it all. Both extremes can stunt spiritual growth.

The proper balance is to be utterly dependent on God's power while at the same time making diligent effort to resist sin. This concept is easy to grasp when we think about driving a car. We realize that without gas in our car we can't go where we want. If we try our best to drive, but don't have gas, we won't move forward. On the other hand if we fill the car with gas and then lay down in our seat we won't move forward either. We must recognize our dependence on having gas in our tank and at the same time we must do our part with that gas.

We need to recognize that we can't change without spiritual gas. We need to ask Him for help so we can move forward. Then we need to use that spiritual gas and do our part. We need to diligently resist sin according to the power He gives us.

Doing our part requires self control and discipline. 1 Timothy 4:7-8 talks about disciplining yourself.

7 But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;

8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

Fortunately we are not the only one involved in making our heart willing. God is faithfully at work to make you willing too. Philippians 2:12-13

12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;

13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure

Scripture quotations taken from the "NASB" (

God bless
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