You Can Stop Trying Harder

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Thinking about a cow trying to help in the kitchen is a little absurd, huh?


Yet, when we think that we can do something for God, it becomes just as ridiculous.


Did you know that there is a New Testament word that sometimes uses this very definition?


“Doing something in order to get God’s approval.” 

try hard


Know what the word is?


Nomos or “the Law”. 


Using this definition, let’s look at some verses and the ramifications of what this means. I’m going to insert our new description in parentheses every time we come to the word “the Law”. 


You were made to die to (trying to please God) through the body of Christ…that you might bear fruit for God.” (Romans 7:4)


“Now we have been released from (doing stuff just to get God’s approval).” (Romans 7:6)


“What (trying to please God) couldn’t do…God did by sending His own Son….in order that the requirement of (trying to please God) might be fulfilled in us.” (Romans 8:3-4)


“For Christ is the end of (efforts to please God) … for everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:4)


Love therefore is the fulfillment of (my effort to please God).” (Romans 13:10)


“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is (me trying to do stuff to gain God’s approval).” (1 Corinthians 15:56)


“A man is not justified by the works of (what he thinks he might could do to please God), but through faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 2:16)


“If righteousness comes through (what I can do to get God’s approval), then Christ died needlessly.” (Galatians 2:21)


“Did you receive the Spirit by (doing stuff to please God) or by hearing with faith?” (Galatians 3:2)


“(Trying to do stuff on my own to please God) is not of faith.” (Galatians 3:12) And whatever is not from faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23)


I’m hearing a theme from God here…how about you?


Me trying to please God doesn’t work. 


There is a fine line between:


  • hearing God speak and obeying what He says




  • not waiting to hear from Him, but just making up a rule that I think He will like. 


For instance, having a daily quiet time every morning is my habit. I come making myself available to God to speak to me through prayer and His Word. 


But when I take away the willing attitude and replace it with a regimen of “spirituality” that has to look the same way every day (i.e. at the same time, using the same amount of time, hearing the same depth of Word etc…) – then I have turned a willing Spirit-walk into “the Law”. And that doesn’t please Him (Romans 8:8). 


Is it any wonder why our rule-oriented quiet times so seldom commune with Him? 


What fine line do you often cross between “the Law of the Spirit” and “the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2)? What God-breathed action have you boiled down into a science?