For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, Philippians 3:3 (NLT)
Effort is not a bad thing. The focus of your effort is what will make you fruitful or unfruitful in life. You can engage in the most vigorous effort and see no fruit as the result of it if your efforts are improperly focused. Now you have my full attention. Now you have piqued my interest. Where must I focus my efforts? That is a very good question. You don’t beat around the bush. I will give you an answer just as directly as you have asked me the question. I’m listening attentively. You must make every effort to focus your heart and mind and life on me. You must seek me with all your heart and mind and soul and strength. You must love and follow and serve me with all that is within you. Is that clear? Yes, that is very clear. And I will give you this promise, you will find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will work in and through you as you live your life with and for me. I will do in and through you what you could never accomplish by your own power or strength. I will lead you to where I want you to go. I will give you what I want you to do. You will accomplish my purposes and fulfill my plans as you rely on me and I work in and through you. That will be great. That is the desire of my heart. That’s good.
We have only talked about half the equation. I don’t know what you mean. Don’t be so sure of that. We have talked about how you must focus your attention on me. We have discussed how you must come to rely fully on me. Yes, I get that. That’s good. There is something that you not do. What’s that? You must not rely on yourself. If you rely on your own power and strength your efforts will amount to nothing. Apart from me, you can do nothing. If you rely on your own gifts and talents and abilities your life will be fruitless. Nothing you accomplish will have any lasting and eternal value. The trophies you collect in this life, based on your own efforts, will one day be nothing but dust. If you want to store up lasting and eternal treasure in heaven with me, you must come to rely fully on me and not on yourself. It is that simple. I get that. I will rely on you and not on myself. I will focus on you and not on myself. I will allow you to work in and through me. That will be very good. Then your life will surely bear fruit that will last for all eternity. Thank you, Lord.
Lord, I can’t tell you how often I have relied on my own human efforts. Often, I have trusted in my own gifts, talents, and abilities. Forgive me. What a mistake! Those efforts have amounted to nothing of lasting, eternal value. Help me to rely fully on you. Amen
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