“Grace is not opposed to effort; it is opposed to earning.” – Dallas Willard
The Christian life is hard work and it involves daily dying to our own desires, but how much of it is us, and how much of it is God? Pastor Eric Mason sheds light on how we can understand our role in sanctification, faith, and works.
“It’s all God’s work, because you got saved by his work, the fact that you want to pray is because He’s willing it in you.”
Often, we can vividly feel God pushing and moving us to action, other times it flies under our radar.
“I’ve heard so many people say, ‘I woke up at three of four in the morning and just cannot go sleep and then I decided to pray,’ that was God willing in you His good pleasure.”
Eric likes to compare sanctification to a college meal plan. All of your meals are already paid for, but no one is going to go get the food for you, you have to make the effort to go and get it yourself.
“Everything’s already provided you just gotta go grab what’s already there. That’s not you sanctifying yourself, that’s you grabbing a hold of what has already been given to you.”
Many Christians make the mistake of either taking too much credit for their sanctification or not taking enough responsibility, both are flawed in nature.
“God nurtures us and gives us the ability to even want to grow spiritually. The desire to do good is a gift from God because we were dead in our trespasses and sins, we didn’t want anything from God.”
We have to make an effort to fill our lives with the Holy Spirit or else we can’t grow. God will not force himself into relationship with us.
“I can go on and on about verses in the Bible that seem to point us to the reality that God is not going to grow you unless you connect to the means of growth.”
If we aren’t exposed to the Word of God and the Holy Spirit we have no hope of growing in sanctification and our relationship with God.