( an excerpt from a message by )
by David Tait
During my early years as a believer, I attended many church programmes designed to make me a better Christian, applying my considerable natural powers of self-discipline and willpower to the task of changing myself into His image. In some things I succeeded, but many areas of my life seemed impervious to change, no matter how hard I tried.
I discovered that most programmes were based upon similar principles to the worldly based, PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) courses that I had enjoyed before finding Jesus. Live life this way and you will be fulfilled, happy, and usually, rich. Sadly, many church programmes are structured along similar lines, making the same promises, although couched in 'religious' or 'spiritual' language. Be blessed! Become healthy and wealthy in spirit and body! Name it and claim it! Give your tithe (and gifts) to the church and you will never be poor again! Do 'this' and you will become or receive, 'that'. Have been there and done that many times! And sorry,it doesn't work, even with my high levels of natural self-motivation and willpower!
It took me many years then, to discover that YOU IN GOD, as generally promoted by the church, simply doesn't work in a radical, life changing way. So why does the church persist, when the programmes they run are known by most to be ineffective, being replaced by others on a regular basis? Is becoming like Jesus impossible? Is the Bible ideal impossible to attain? Surely it must be, if the church itself doesn't know how to do or teach it effectively! Lord, surely there must be another, better way!
And there is!
It is easy, yet so hard! It is known, yet ignored! It is the very opposite of our current approach of 'God-improvement'. It cannot be taught, only experienced. It doesn't need the church to empower it, so for that reason it is set aside. It takes no effort, yet costs us everything. It requires us to empty, not to fill.
Put simply, we need to exchange the usual 'you in God', for GOD IN YOU! I don't need, any more, to strive to 'improve me' - and so often fail! Rather, I need to 'give up on myself' and let God take over my life. What could be simpler, yet what could be more difficult!
The Bible expresses it both succinctly and beautifully.
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)
Read this message in its entirety and find out more about David Tait and Walking With Jesus Mnistries at... http://www.wwj.org.nz/about.php
Walking With Jesus Ministries
290 Flaxmere Avenue
Flaxmere Hastings New Zealand
Phone: (06) 8799 911 International (+64) 6 8799 911