Do you ever feel like you’ve run out of gas? You’re out in the world doing all you can for Jesus, but you’re just exhausted and can’t seem to muster up enough energy to get it all done. This attitude puts our focus on us and our abilities instead of the Lord. He never asked us to do anything for Him other than have a relationship with Him. We’re the ones who put rules and regulations on how it is supposed to look. All He ever wanted us to do it “come” to Him [Matthew 14:29].
Many people get so caught up in works they miss the relationship. Ephesians 2:8-9 reminds us “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith– and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.” It’s not about works. We can’t do enough, give enough, or pray enough to get into heaven. It’s the result of God’s grace. All Jesus is interested in is a heart-felt, intimate relationship with us. He made it so simple; we make it so difficult.
If works were required, then the man on the cross beside Jesus didn’t stand a chance. In Luke 23:39-43 we find the two criminals being crucified with Christ. One of the criminals mocks Jesus, but the other rebukes the mocker asking him “Don’t you fear God?” [verse 40]. He then goes on to state he’s guilty of sin, but Jesus is sinless. He acknowledged Jesus and then asked Him to remember him when He came into His Kingdom. Jesus’ response in verse 43 was beautiful: “I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise.” The criminal couldn’t do any works at that point to get into heaven. He was hanging on a cross with no hopes of coming down alive, yet the Lord said he would enter paradise. Why? Because all we need is the forgiveness of the King of kings and the Lord of lords to enter paradise. Why do we make it so hard?
Jesus tells us He knows we’re weary and He offers us rest [Matthew 11:28]. Many of us are weary because we’re busy trying to do so much for Jesus. Did He ask us to? Did He give us a check-list for entry to heaven? All He asks us to do is “come” to Him. It’s that simple.
Don’t get me wrong. I know faith without works is dead [James 2:26]. We just have things in the wrong order. We’re so busy doing things for Jesus; we fail to be with Him. We become human doings instead of human beings. He wants us to “be still and know” Him [Psalm 46:10]. He wants us to have intimacy with Him; then, out of our intimacy, out of an overflowing heart, we will do works. The works will be the evidence of our love relationship with Him, not our ticket into heaven because we have enough punches on our card to say we did enough.
Get alone with the Lord today and just “be” with Him. Allow Him to fill you up with everything you need to get through your day. You need to have a full tank so you won’t run out of gas in the middle of the day. He’s ready to fill you and you don’t need your wallet. He’s already paid the bill in full. Fill her up!