Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” Galatians 3:11 (ESV)
Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. Genesis 20:6 (ESV)
I have been reading Galatians for some time now, but reading Galatians 3 today, verse 11 stood out to me. Some of us (including myself) do have certain sins or habits we are struggling with and we keep telling ourselves: “this is the last time”, “I won’t do it again”, “I mean it, this time around I won’t do it again”. However, we end up doing the same thing over and over again. Today, I will be addressing why we shouldn’t rely on our personal effort for change but rather put our faith in Christ Jesus to change us.
What “I won’t do it again” tells us:
1. We place much confidence or emphasis on our own effort to be made right before God, rather than relying on Jesus’s sacrifice. This is dangerous because it can lead us to believe that it is by own ability that we are able to change rather than the power of God. This is why Paul warns us not place emphasis on our own human effort instead of our faith in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:3).
Confidence in the flesh amounts to nothing, just as our ‘I won’t do it again’ amounts to nothing in relation to change. These futile efforts of ours end in failure because we have no power in us to change ourselves, but rather all power belongs to God who is able to change us. He knows us better than we know ourselves.
2. Placing emphasis on our own effort to change is also a form of pride. This implies that we have no need of the Holy Spirit to do his work of transformation in us but rather we can do it on our own, which is dangerous.
Brethren, our human efforts amounts to nothing in regards to change or transformation, let’s learn to trust in God, believe in His provision for our sins and live each and every day in His power to overcome this cycle of failure.