One of the most famous lines from the Star Wars series comes from the character of Yoda. You remember the scene… Yoda, the Jedi Master, is trying to teach young Luke Skywalker the ways of “the force.” At one crucial point, Yoda asks Luke to retrieve his space ship from the deep waters of a swamp. To which, Luke (filled with doubt) informs Yoda that he will try.
Of course, you know Yoda’s response…
Now, much of Star Wars thinking and philosophy is nothing more than a blend of eastern mysticism and humanism – but Yoda is really on to something here.
Most of our struggles as Christians are because we are committed to “trying” when it is really a matter of “doing.” And not just trying… we try and try and try and we keep on trying… until we find ourselves exhausted and frustrated by all our trying. We never seem to reach the goal that we are trying so hard to achieve.
And then we have to live with all the guilt. We fail, we feel guilty. We get angry, we feel guilty. We are disappointed at our lack of progress, we feel guilty.
It is like an endless treadmill. We sweat and strain and push ourselves – only to look up and find that we are no further along than when we began.
Sadly, this is the testimony of so many Christians. They love Jesus, all right. They want to please Him. They are truly intent on becoming what He wants them to be.
But it just never seems to work out. Most end up wondering if any of it is worth the struggle. We thought that it was. We believed that it was.
But all we have to show for our continual efforts is the same emptiness. The same bad habits. The same pitfalls. The same struggles (and failures) with sin.
If only God weren’t asking so much from us…
If you have ever felt like this is representative of your own Christian walk, I have some really great news for you…
All the endless trying is NOT what God is asking from us. He did not send Jesus to fulfill the Law (Rom. 8:3-4) so we could keep on trying to please Him by our own efforts and actions. Jesus fulfilled the Law. He DID what our human efforts could not do… ever.
The good news of the gospel is that, not only has Jesus forgiven our sins, He has given us a brand new life – and a new way to live that life.
We really need to take this to heart… God has not just sat on His Royal Throne and pronounced us NOT guilty (because of Jesus). He came down from His Royal Throne and provided a way for us to be the habitation of His Royal Highness. Jesus’ work made us a proper home for the Living God to come and live within us.
He is the One, now, Who is doing the work (from within us). God does not “try.” He does… or He does not. With God, there is no try.
And the gospel declares that He is doing (or not doing) through us.
Our continual striving (trying!), to become what we think God wants us to be, ALWAYS gets in the way of what God has already done for us. The work to make us what He wants us to be is already DONE!
As true Christians, we must cease striving… and simply, daily, embrace the work of the One Who has already done, and will always do, according to His perfection. He lives within us – to do what He desires to DO, through us.
Prayer Focus: God, help me to see when I am “trying,” in my own efforts, to do what you want from me — instead of trusting in what You have already done.