Being before Doing

Are you operating from your own strength or from His?

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"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children..."
-Ephesians 5:1

How often do we confuse our faith with doing.

Doing good works.

Earning our way to Heaven.

Legalism.

It's easy enough to do.  Our society, separate from Christ, teaches doing good and earning in religion.  In fact, that's what makes freedom in Christ so appealing to me.  It's freedom from the bondage of performing.

But when we become Christians, too many of us fall into the motions of performing and doing.

We want to bear good fruit, after all!

But it's a trap.

It's a type of purgatory, actually.  We get caught in this in-between state of grace and works, where we accept salvation from Jesus as a gift, but in order to keep the gift we must perform, we must do good.

And that, my dear friend, is a lie.  It's a lie.

We aren't called to perform.  We aren't called to be a performer.  We aren't called to do.

At least not first.  And by first, I mean in aligning what we should do with what God expects of us.

We aren't saved to then do, but to be.  To be adopted sons and daughters of God.  To abide in Him.  To sit at His feet and learn.

When I read Scripture, what I see is a way to learn about His nature, i.e. His heart for us and consistency in who He is towards us, and our identity, i.e. who we are based on His nature.

When we abide, when we rest in learning who we are, then we operate from that space.

Not from the space of 'salvation is a free gift, now let me do good things to look like what I think a Christian should be, or am pressured to be.'

But the space of 'because I am God's son, and He loves me, how can I not love others?  Because I am God's daughter, and He forgave me of everything I've ever done, and everything everyone else has ever done, how can I not forgive them, too?'

The first is from us trying in our own might to do good.  The second is from the overflow of knowing who our Father is and who we are in Him.

The difference is trying to do good in our own strength so that we can be seen as good versus being His and doing His will based on that.

Be before Do.

Being before Doing.

I invite you, dear friend, to put down the performance and focus, instead, on being His.  As you become His and surrender your life to Him, He'll use you to do good things for Him, not for the approval of others and for the sake of your own pride.

Michael Tatonetti