Reaching God’s High Standard
Some think they must reach God’s high standard by their own efforts. But Jesus said, “Without Me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). The Lord assures us that the power of victory comes from Him alone, and this power operates to achieve His good purpose. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).
God provides the stimulus for our first determination to accept salvation and the power to make that decision possible. This does not mean that we are completely inactive humans but only that God gives the stimulus that initiates our desire to be saved. He enables us to make the decision to attain salvation, and then He supplies us with the power to make the decision a reality so that salvation is accomplished in our lives. Thus, salvation is a cooperative work between God and man, with God giving all the needed powers for man’s use.
For this reason, the believers can have a joyful growth experience with God while maintaining a cheerful, confident spirit, knowing that God will provide the necessary strength. The Lord tells us that the first fruits of the Spirit are “love, joy, peace…” (Galatians 5:22-23). In this experience there is no fear, worry or hopelessness.
Victory Through Faith in Christ
The secret lies in abiding in Christ daily through the study of His Word and prayer. Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except ye abide in Me” (John 15:4). If a Christian have a daily relationship with God, Jesus promised that he will have complete victory. “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7).
Jesus bids us: “consider the lilies how they grow” (Luke 12:27). It is God who brings these plants to blossom. The lilies grow not by their own care or anxiety or effort, but by receiving that which God has provided to minister to their life such as water, nutrients, and Sun rays. Likewise, the child of God should turn to Christ who is the light of the earth, the living water, and “the Bread of life” to bring good fruits. (John 6:33). If branch is cut from the tree, it withers and dies. Likewise, if the Christian cuts his daily connection with God and doesn’t read the Scriptures and pray, he will experience failure in His victory over sin.
By faith, the Christian needs to rest in God (Colossians 2:6). The Lord is able to keep that which you have committed to Him. If you will leave yourself in His hands, He will make you more than a conqueror and reach His high standard. So the believer will proclaim, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). This rest is not found in inactivity; for in the Savior’s invitation the promise of rest is united with the call to labor: “Take My yoke upon you: . . . and ye shall find rest” (Matthew 11:29).
In His service,