If I’m honest, brutally honest, I’ve spent much of my life trying to “work my way” to heaven. Through much of my own strength and my own ability, I have…
Worked harder than anyone I know to build the best company I could build.
Worked on my marriage and relationships and strives to be the best parent I can be.
Worked on my spiritual life so that I can have enough of God to give to other people.
Work. Work. Work. Much of my life. Much like one of the seven dwarfs every day, “Hi ho. Hi ho. It’s off to work I go.” Except with out the whistling and joy and Snow White part.
What is quite ironic is the fact that while trying my whole life to work my way to heaven, I’ve realized the brutal truth:
Working your way to heaven is the fastest way to hell on earth!
When we try to work our way to heaven through our own strengths and our own abilities, we are essentially doing nothing more than working our way to hell.
That “hell on earth” can be the consequences of trying to attain something that can never be attained. It’s dealing with the collateral damage of lost opportunities and precious time.
Working our way to the approval of God is like trying to make it rain by running around frantically in circles and dancing and jumping and chanting all day.
It’s like a child trying to create water when all they have to do is ask their parent for a drink.
It is trying to do something only God can do.
It makes me laugh when I read in the Bible where God says even our best efforts are like refuge to him (dung).
It’s like imagining all our works, our efforts, our struggles that we think will earn us God’s love, all these things that we work so hard for. It’s like imagining ourselves lifting these things up to heaven for God’s approval. All the while, what does he see?
A big stinky pile of excrement.
Basically he is saying that this type of living is sin, and in the end will lead to death.
“Here you go God, isn’t this awesome what I have created?”
I think God looks back and laughs and says, “No you are the awesome thing I have created and because of Christ alone you are made perfect and whole.”
It’s like he is saying, “What I really want is just you.”
It’s not that he doesn’t want us to do loving things with our lives. It’s just that he wants us to live this way only out of a response of what he has already done in us through Christ.
He waits for us to put our faith and our trust not in our own works or efforts but in him alone.
He is serious about this and sometimes he will take away all the things in our lives that we lean on so that we can depend more on him and less on ourselves.
So we are often praying the wrong prayer when we say, ” God help me this so I can be more comfortable.”
Instead, maybe we should be praying, “God help me trust in you so that I can be more faithful.”
The problem is when we have been working our whole lives. Working our way to hell.
How about you? Love to hear- Chad