“Beware of mixing even a little of self with the mortar with which you build, or you will make it untempered mortar, and the stones will not hold together. If you look to Christ for your beginnings, beware of looking to yourself for your endings. He is Alpha. See to it that you make Him Omega also. If you begin in the Spirit you must not hope to be made perfect by the flesh. Begin as you mean to go on, and go on as you began, and let the Lord be all in all in you.”
This quote from Charles Spurgeon has always struck me like a V8 moment because no matter how long you’ve walked with the Lord, it’s so easy to lean on the flesh from time to time–as if the flesh saved us in the first place.
Paul said it this way in his letter to the Galatians: “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” (3:3)?
For me, it’s not so much that I want credit for “saving” myself, but more of an old desire to earn God’s approval based on what I can do, instead of letting His work in me be pleasing enough.
We’ve all done it at some point or another because as children it was fun to say “Hey Mom! Hey Dad! Watch what I can do!” And then as parents, we just beam from ear to ear as we watch our kids do a cartwheel for the first time, or pop a wheelie on their bike. In fact, we encourage it! “Show me what you can do!” And then we applaud their efforts whether they made it or fell flat on their face. So it’s human nature to do the same with God.
The problem is, the devil has forever used our human way of thinking to trap us. This is why scripture repeatedly emphasizes the need to renew our minds. “His ways our not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts…” BUT… there is some encouragement.[Tweet “I wholeheartedly believe God beams from ear to ear when we walk by faith.”]
I can almost imagine Him saying to Jesus, “Did you see that?” as He points out one of His kids believing Him for the supernatural, or taking His Word as Truth. As a good Father, our God is proud of our trust and faith in Him. The Amplified Bible says, “Does He Who supplies you with His marvelous [Holy] Spirit and works powerfully and miraculously among you do so on [the grounds of your doing] what the Law demands, or because of your believing in and adhering to and trusting in and relying on the message you heard? Thus Abraham believed in and adhered to and trusted in and relied on God, and it was reckoned and placed to his account and credited as righteousness” (Galatians 3:5-6). And I have to add: “The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God” (verse 7, NLT).
In other words, we became children of God because we put our faith in God (just like Abraham did). And that’s how we continue also. Spurgeon had it right.[Tweet “Begin as you mean to go on, and go on as you began, and let the Lord be all in all in you.”]