In striving to maintain your relationship with God you are insinuating that what Jesus did on the cross to redeem man was not enough because you are making the maintaining of your relationship with God dependent on your doing. By allowing your actions to declare to the community of Humanity that people’s own effort and ability is a means to becoming a "good Christian", is paramount to refuting that Jesus did not know what He was saying when He said “It is finished.”
You cannot know God and continue to strive...Cease striving and know that I am God so that God will be known in the earth and be exalted. See Psalm 46:10.
The Hebrew word that is translated "Be still" or "Cease striving" as the NSAB translates it, is 'Raphah' it means: to sink down, to sink, drop, to relax, withdraw, idle, to let drop, abandon, refrain, forsake, to let go, to refrain, let alone, to be quiet.
Being a “good Christian” is not about our doing nor is it about us, it is about His doing and about Him. Therefore relax in His doing, enter His rest, stop struggling, cease striving, be still, abandon ourselves to God...we need to stop living in the old covenant and live in the Jesus covenant.
To trust God’s action in us we must operate by God’s Spirit in us. Any obsession with self in maintaining spirituality is Jesus defying. Focusing on ourselves in our doing is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self-doing ignores God and ends up thinking more about self and what they think more than the reality of knowing God. It is ignoring God, what He has done and what He is doing. Do we think God is pleased with our ignorance of Him? Not according to Romans 8: 5-8.
If we would swallow our pride and take a good look at ourselves, we would realize that on most days through our actions, we lie to the world and ourselves about the freedom that is found in Jesus Christ and the transformational power of His grace because of our self doings.
Why do we constantly strive to be a “good Christian?” Why do we act on our your feelings feelings rather than God’s promises and truth? Why do we struggle to keep a Christian-checklist of Do and Don’t rules to live up to? Are we not testing God by making sacrifices in order to get closer to Him and find His favour?
Our struggling is no more than vain “religiosity” because it’s not by our works or good deeds that will enable us to represent Christ in the earth. It is not by how we follow the rules, that makes makes us special or chosen to be in the Lord's favour. No amount of “religiosity” can bring us closer to God because Jesus does not love us any more than He loves the sinner, who is not striving to gain His favour.
In our struggling we miss the truth of the gospel. We have been deluded into thinking that it’s about what we can do for God, that makes us good people and have a more intimate relationship with Jesus. But that is deception's lie.
We have diminished the gospel to a to-do list, a Christian score card we are constantly striving to to attain 100% on. To the world, we are saying that being a believer is about doing the do's and not doing the don'ts of a man-made standard.
God gave us the Mosaic Law to show us our inability to measure up to its standards and show us our desperate need of a Mediator....Jesus. He knew we couldn’t keep keep the rules and that would fail miserably at trying. But because of our innate arrogance and pride, we keep striving to keep them! The mirror of the law was to show us that keeping rules was not in our ability to do.
In Jesus, God personally took on the human nature, entered the muck and mire of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The Mosaic Law, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.” (Romans 8: 3-5)
It is time to stop striving and take rest in the victory of the cross...for indeed the cross was a victory, we need to stop acting like it was a partial victory!
It is done, the great transaction is done there is no more payment to be made because Jesus paid it all.