I have been so challenged this week in my devos. I have been working my way through Comforts from the Cross by Elyse Fitzpatrick. I long for practical godliness in my life and wonder why all my desire and struggle for holiness often ends in despair and failing, AGAIN... Here are some thoughts from the book that have really challenged my thinking and made me yearn, really yearn for this type of godliness and rest.
Paul wrote in I Tim. 3:16,
""Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness." In modern language he might say, "This is so strange, it will absolutely astound you. It will blow your mind." Paul would say that this mystery was so strange, so unexpected, simply because the gospel flies in the face of everything we know about how to become godly."
"Do you want true godliness? Stop working and believe in the incarnation, resurrection, and ascension...Paul calls this kind of mysterious godliness the "obedience of faith" (Rom. 16:26)...Why would the Father want us to embrace this godliness, this obedience of faith? So that "to the only wise God [would] be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ" (Rom. 16:27). When our focus is on our supposed godliness, our obedience through our own good works, then the glory (at least in part) goes to us....If you sincerely want to be godly, stop working and believe. Believe that the gospel declares that we are all the same-helpless and yet so loved.
What is this mystery, this obedience by faith (instead of works)? Simply this: "Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Col. 1:27)"
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
Can you believe that God is good, loving and powerful? Can you rest in Him, the work He has done and will do?
"Don't be afraid; don't let your fear make you grumble and sin." Trust His promises.
Strive..., strive only to enter his rest, by belief.
I cannot tell you how much this feeds my soul for I know that I am so weak and will always fall short of godliness on my own. Deep within my soul, I feel a yearning to set down my constant striving for holiness and strive to rest in Him. If I continually strive to rest and remember His completed work on the cross on my behalf, will I not become practically more holy? As I remember how He has positionally made me holy will He also not produce in me daily holiness, hatred for sin and conform me more into the image of His son?
Have I been saved by Grace only to try and live the Christian life in my own strength?
Come, and rest Christen.