Recently while in a conversation with a friend who is a Pastor of a congregation in Georgia, about how we can so easily slip into the snare of doing good works to stay in good with Jesus, and that in fact so much of religious Christendom teaches us to do just that!
We come to Christ in order to receive what only He can provide, salvation, and soon thereafter we begin to think that there are works we must do to "clean up our act" or to "compensate" for our wrongs; or to, well, stay on God's good side!
The fact is that apart from being obedient children, there is nothing we can do "for" God and in fact, apart from Christ we cannot even be obedient children!
While we were talking, the Scripture came to my mind that "... we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." Isaiah 64:6
Then the question came to my mind, “Who is doing YOUR ‘laundry’?” coupled with a mental picture of people clothed in beautiful white apparel standing over those old time laundry tubs just slaving away trying to clean their own filthy rags on “washboards” and thinking that they are really doing something!
The truth is, if we are trying to do our own "laundry", we are only going to always fail and fail so miserably! Why? Because if we could succeed making our righteousnesses clean, then we simply would not need what only God can do! We would not need Jesus!
Plus, let’s look at Isaiah 64:6 further: Notice that our own righteousnesses are not only filthy, but THEY ARE RAGS! Why oh why do we want to settle for rags when we are clothed in garments of praise and beauty?!
Therefore dear friends, our lives can be - - must be - - only about Jesus and what HE has done for us and never what we have done for Him!
When we "witness" for Jesus, are we showing others how much we love Jesus and how we are washing our filthy rags for Him? Or, are we showing other people how much Jesus loves us (and them) and in that love what Jesus has done and is doing with our filthy rags?
And what IS Jesus doing with our filthy rags? HE IS NOT CLEANING THEM, HE IS DISCARDING THEM! He is giving us NEW garments to wear, NEW lives to live, NEW creations to be! See: Isa. 61:10; Romans 6; 2 Cor. 5:16-21
If we would but just begin to see the reality of this, I wonder how much more peaceful our hearts would become and how much more impact our witness of Christ Jesus the Lord would have in the lives of others!
May our Heavenly Father give us the revelation of this truth for transforming our realities in Christ Jesus!
That's quite insightful. It's truly amazing how we try to do our laundry all by ourselves. And to think that for all the efforts we are making, we are only expending energy on rags. All the while He wants to clothe us in white. Thanks for the reminder that it should be all about Him and not about us. Good piece of writing there!