^ this one…cuts to the quick.
“We cannot save nor sanctify ourselves— God does that. But God will not give us good habits or character, and He will not force us to walk correctly before Him.”
To be forgiven is good, it costs us nothing and is totally free. Hard to accept? Yes and folks want to earn it, some preach that you MUST earn it. But worse is relying on grace for your entire walk or trying to justify bad behavior with poor interpretation. I myself am an abject failure in some areas, I fall into the pit of “myself” and do and say unseemly things at times. Rather than justifying it, I confess it. Even Paul said “that thing I want to do, I do the opposite and that that I don’t want to do is exactly what I do”. We all fail. It is expected actually, how we fail is what matters.
“Beware of the tendency to ask the way when you know it perfectly well. Take the initiative— stop hesitating— take the first step. Be determined to act immediately in faith on what God says to you”
Reminds me of the rich lawyer who asked Jesus “what must I do to inherit eternal life”. The Lawyer knew the answer, he was just trying to find a way to JUSTIFY his not following it. “Love the Lord with everything and love your neighbor as yourself”… The lawyer then said “and who is my neighbor”. Let’s not try to get out of following the narrow path. A little bit of crap is still crap, there is no good end of a turd. If you allow sin a foothold and do not battle against it, your whole walk is tainted with sin. Not following what you know to do, asking over and over for a “sign” when He has told you in His Word, is sinful. It is asking to be allowed to slack. God hates weasels.
“We have to get into the habit of carefully listening to God about everything, forming the habit of finding out what He says and heeding it. If, when a crisis comes, we instinctively turn to God, we will know that the habit has been formed in us. We have to take the initiative where we are, not where we have not yet been.”
I hear myself say sometimes “once xxxx I will xxxx”. Waiting on different scenery, different timing or on others to do the work you know to do is saying “God, I know how this goes, you just hold on…” We can do what we know to do in any circumstance and we should. Don’t fall into waiting. We have the entire scripture to tell us what is right and good, we don’t have to wait for anything. Go! Do!
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