How Foolish Can You Be?
“How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort” (Gal. 3:3 NLT)? Years ago, I learned a valuable lesson from a wise old servant of the Lord, that I have never forgotten. In describing my disappointment with my best efforts on a program I was working on, I told him that my intention was to work harder in the future. I have never forgotten his response; “you won’t ever be any better than you are, but the Holy Spirit who resides within you can and will empower you if call upon Him. Never forget we cannot improve our flesh.” Those words deeply resonated with me!
Until then I had always been taught, if you worked hard enough, you would be a better person. It was an eye-opening moment for me to realize our heavenly Father doesn’t want or even need our best self-efforts. They can neither earn us salvation, nor enable us to live an effective or holy Christian life. The Apostle Paul said basically the same thing to the Galatians when he wrote, ““How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort.”
Friends, in our own strength, we are unable to do anything of lasting eternal value. To become the effective servant God wants us to be, we must rely upon the Spirit to direct the work of our hearts and hands. It is also important to never forget, that dependence on the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean we can remain idle or inactive. Saint Paul described it like this “I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me” (Col. 1:29). God wants us to depend on His Spirit, who can empower us to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or ever think.
Grace and peace always,