“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
A born-again believer is never forced by the Lord to think or act in a particular way, the Almighty does not force virtue upon any of us, the Holy Spirit compels us. We are not driven by Him, but instead are driven for the One we love.
One can compare this in a sense with the supposed pandemic of late, did those who died die from it or with it?
Not all who are saved will understand this yet, but those who feel obligated to serve the Lord are not doing so out of love, but out of a feeling of works, of accomplishing deeds because of a latent ideology that one must repay someone when something is done for them. It is a very subtle deceit of Satan indeed. Here I believe the analogy of Christmas cards fits well. If you receive a card at that season from someone that you did not send one to, do you then feel obligated to send one to them, and if so, why?
This is the basis of this short letter, a well-designed obligation, of repaying the Lord by deeds done we force ourselves to make us feel unworthy of what was done for us. It is ingrained in us at the deepest level, to return the favor, to return in kind that which was given to us. I ask you then, can you crucify yourself for the sins of the world, can you die for all mankind, can you repay that which only One could pay? Can you add anything to the cross? “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:31)
Baptism will not do it, attending church offers nothing, witnessing to others, living a holy life out of an obligation felt inside of us as the “right thing” to do will avail you nothing. God does not force us to serve, He compels us to, and when we do it, it is only out of love for Him that will be noticed.
Even after you are saved my friends all your works done outside of the will of the Holy Spirit are as filthy rags. You cannot offer anything to God of yourself that He will accept as righteous and holy in His sight. Obedience is never done out of an obligation, but always with no thought of receiving anything in return. “If I do this then it will prove that I love the Lord, if I do this then God will do that.”
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
At this moment Job 13:15 comes to mind, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” At that point in Job’s life, he knew there was nothing he could offer to the Lord, and when he said, “Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:6) he came to the realization that anything that he had ever tried to accomplish before was not worthy of anything in comparison to what he had been given.
Stop trying, start listening, search the Scriptures, look for what the Lord will accept, and you will find only one thing, believing His Word concerning His Son. It is beyond simple, and many if not most people miss it.
The Lord wants to reason with us, to show us that only the faith that He has blessed us with is what enables us to hear what it is that He desires for us to know. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (1 Tim. 1:15) From that point on He will compel you, you will hear, and out of a heart that loves Him who first loved us you will act, you will perform the deeds solely for His glory, with the full assurance that what needed to be done has already been accomplished at the cross. You will see that His reasoning is the way to follow.