Friday, November 30, 2012

The Performance Trap

One Year Bible
New Testament passage for Fri., Nov. 30, 2012:  I John 1:1-10

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:7-9 (NKJV)

Each of us is in a battle against our spiritual enemy called the devil.  Perhaps his greatest weapon against us is TRUTH that is misinterpreted and misapplied.  He distorts reality and beats you over the head with it, thus rendering you vulnerable to further temptations and attacks.  Satan is called the accuser of the brethren, and he takes things that are true and applies them to your life in a way that nullifies and disqualifies you.

We all tend to try to please God by following the rules.  There are at least 613 rules found in the Bible.  Have you tried lately to keep all of them?  It is quite a task.  We fall into the PERFORMANCE TRAP.  We feel that our value or worth is based on how we perform in rule-keeping.

That's where the devil steps in and gives you some "truth."  He says to you, "You'll never measure up.  You're just NOT GOOD ENOUGH."  We fall into a trap in which there is no way out.  If we bow up and keep all the rules, we become proud of our performance!  We can do this for a little while, but inevitably we mess up and then we're back to "square one."  Or, on the other hand, we acknowledge up front that, yes, we are in fact not good enough and descend then into a sense of failure and condemnation.  Satan always takes it further.  He tells us that not only are we not good enough, but also we are just plain NO GOOD at all.  He is the accuser of the brethren.

How do we make it out of this trap?  How can we ever measure up?  The answer is in I John 1.  God already knows our condition, and He loves us anyway.  That does not mean that He winks at sin and doesn't care.  In fact, He cares enough to send Jesus to account for our sins. 

He says to us now, "I know that you have failed.  So, just come to Me.  Walk with Me.  Walk in the light."  He asks us to do only one thing.  He does not say, "Try harder", or "Get serious."  He says, "Only confess your sin to me, and I will wash it away."  HE ALREADY ACCEPTS YOU on the basis of Jesus.  You have already measured up.  Your performance should not be to GET His approval, but as a response FROM His approval.  That makes all the difference.

So, the next time the devil tells you that you are not good enough, just respond by tell him, "Yes, you're absolutely right.  I AM NOT GOOD ENOUGH, but JESUS IS!!!  And since I am in Christ, that makes me good enough too."  We can then walk in purity -- walk in joy -- walk in the fulness of our God.

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