Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses areas filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
We all see ourselves in a certain light. We compare against something or someone. That measure by which we measure, often determines our level of happiness. The clothes we wear, the car we drive, the house we have or where we live are things by which we compare.
Yet, some of the most unhappy people are those who seemingly have everything.
But say we have this in perspective… What I own truly belongs to God and I am just the steward of what He has allowed me to have.
The same applies to our gifts and talents.
Many a worldly singer can trace their roots to a church choir. But even in this area, we reserve our voice, our gifts and our talents to only be used for God and His glory.
Many of us try to offer up to God, those things we are truly gifted and talented to do – but the verse today says that though it may be our very best – it is as filthy rags.
There are religions today, that say it is what you do, or how good you were here on this earth that will merit Heaven.
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Titus 3:5-7 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
So, God establishes that nothing I can do will merit favor or be rewarded.
What about who I am?
Some claim a heritage that extends through centuries. Yet, it gains them no Heavenly favor.
It is who I am in Jesus Christ that matters. I am precious and special to my God. I am favored and loved. I am cared for, protected, accepted, secure and provided for – all by a loving, Heavenly Father who gave His Son for me so I could be reconciled back to Him.
Therein lies the key thought today – it is not who I am, but who I am in Christ.
It is not what I do, but what is done by God through me.
We are created unto good works.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
It is the job of the Holy Spirit in me to guide me and teach me all I need to know.
Psalms 32:8 “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”
The goal is to be more like my Savior each and every day.
Galatians 4:19 “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,”
But there is one problem – my flesh. It keeps getting in the way. It rises up at the most inopportune times and fights what I try to do for God. Paul describes it best in Romans:
Romans 7:18-20 “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.”
This battle will rage in us until this body of flesh is in the ground and my soul rises to glory.
So what is the key to getting the victory?
Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
I must be dead unto sin and alive unto God.
Romans 6:11 “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
It is in my crucifying the flesh, denying what it wants and desiring what God wants that I can truly do better than my best. It becomes God living His life through me. If I am led of the Holy Spirit of God, and do as He commands, I will live out my days doing what pleases Him, not me.
Many think this a boring life – living as a monk, or having no fun whatsoever.
I can tell you from experience – there is no better life than that which is lived out by faith; doing what it is God wants you to do. I have had no greater joy; had no greater peace and have seen great and miraculous things accomplished doing exactly what it is God wanted me to do.
Many try to offer up to God that which they think will please Him. They work tirelessly at good things. Often, some burn out trying to please God with what it is they do for Him. But take heed – God says that all my good; all my good works, thoughts and giving is seen as filthy rags if not what He has ordained I do for Him,
We may try to imitate Christ in the things we say, the things we do; but, God is real good at being God – why wouldn’t we let Him live that life through us?
We all sense the urgency in what is needed to be done for the kingdom. If every one who names the name of Christ would obey the Holy Spirit, yield up their flesh and submit all to God, I believe we could see revival again here in our country and around the world.
It is easy to put hands and feet to things we know ought to be done. But it takes a yielded soul and spirit to wait on God to find out what it is He would want me to do, where it is He would want me to go; quiet enough to hear God as He speaks to my soul.
My best – your best, just isn’t good enough when wee consider that God can do the miraculous through us!