DON'T HELP!!! What strange advice.
Every lifeguard knows the best advice to give when attempting to rescue a drowning person-
"Don't help, don't try to swim, just go limp,
relax completely in my arms,
and we will both make it safely to shore."
A drowning person must exhaust themselves as quickly as possible. Better yet, just go limp, relax completely, don’t fight their lifesaver, and let the expert do their job. But, that goes against the natural, powerful instinct to do anything in order to survive. And "doing anything in order to survive," causes the drowning person to unwitting fight against the very one who can save them.
What Activates True Grace?
And so it is with the mystery and miracle of New Covenant Grace. The simple, most power truth about how New Covenant grace is activated within us can be found in Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5-
"God must oppose the proud, but He freely gives His transforming grace to the humble."
So, how does this proud/humble idea work?
The proud are the ones who believe that if they can have just one more chance, they can try harder and make themselves good enough for God to accept them. This thinking keeps them from believing that God tells the truth when He says He has already loved and accepted them because of Christ's work.
But, the humble know they can never, by their own effort, become good enough; only Christ can do that and they believe He already has. So, they freely admit they cannot change themselves. But, they do more than just confess their inability. They have faith. They truly believe that He, freely, because of His great love for them, has made them acceptable and will transform them from the inside out.
The humble hear the Spirit of God speak the word of God to their hearts-
"Don't help, don't try to fix yourself, exhaust yourself as quickly as possible so you can just go limp in peaceful surrender, relaxing completely in My arms and trusting fully in Me. As you rest in faith, allowing Me to do the work inside you, we will bear much fruit, and finish the race together!" -Jesus- (Matt.11:28, John 15:1-5)
But Isn't This Too Simple?
Some feel this thinking is too simple. There needs to be more clarification of the rules and requirements, they say. But, Paul was inspired to write that we must not be, "moved from the simplicity of the Gospel."
The only clarification needed is God's promise that when one places their faith in Christ a miracle begins! We don't just "join" Christianity. We enter into God's family by the miracle of regeneration. And the on-going, ever-increasing miracle of transformation begins. It is true that this miracle does require something from us. We must believe God tells the truth. But, this belief doesn't require great knowledge or great effort to activate the power of transformation.
Small Effort, Miraculous Result
The power that God promises to release inside of us is far, far greater than the power we put forth to believe;
…the tiny effort it takes to swallow an antibiotic releases a far greater power to kill infection;
…the effort expended in turning the key in a car's ignition is tiny compared to the power that results from the engine running;
…the small amount of pressure it takes to pull the trigger of a gun can hardly be compared to devastating force which this tiny effort releases.
I believe conversion is the beginning of a most amazing miracle whose results can hardly be compared to the effort put forth when a person chooses to believe His promise. As John says,
“To them who believed in Him, He gave them the power to become sons of God!” (John 1:12)
Mark Drake is an internationally known author, teacher and leader. He focuses on equipping leaders around the world in New Covenant Grace.