Day #9 A God-Fashioned Life – Part 2

“And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you” (Eph. 4:24, MSG).

A God-Fashioned Life

We pick up from yesterday…

Salvation is God’s gift and action from beginning to end. Our salvation has more to do with what God is currently doing in our lives than our ability to manage it. Remember from Day #6 when we talked about how God enters into actually living with us and is intimately involved in the ins and outs of our days? It is His very real, personal, dwelling presence that makes salvation such a powerful, living reality for us. So, the Christian life isn’t about piling on more rules and regulations, it is about responding to the active, life-giving presence of Christ in us.

This means our job is not to master the Christian life (that’s exhausting and never brings life to your soul!) but to notice and submit to the life the Spirit is already crafting in us. By now, we should get the feeling that we don’t play a major role in our salvation. We certainly have a role to play (and it’s important we get it right), but it has nothing to do with achieving or producing a God-fashioned life.

Notice Paul’s emphasis on what God does and what we do:

“Can’t you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do—submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life!” (Gal. 6:15).

(I think one of the grand narratives of Scripture is that God continually invades us with new life! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss this!)

“Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing” (Eph. 2:8-10).

This God-fashioned life moves us from trying to achieve spiritual life by doing things right or well, to paying attention to the dynamic activity of God (grace) who is moment-by-moment doing something fresh and new in us! So, if God plays the part of the initiator of grace; our part must be to offer ourselves to God in ways that enable that work of grace to take hold in our lives.

Our proper response to grace should always take the form of surrender. Since grace (which is the activity of the Holy Spirit) is inherently and insistently relational, our surrender is never to mere constructs of rules and morality. The capacity to surrender to God’s purposes and ways arises out of a growing friendship with God. We surrender to a person. Our ability to surrender will always be grounded in our personal reality of God’s life-giving and redemptive activity and movements in our lives. Apart from relationship, surrender is simply an act of detached obligation. In response to relationship, however, surrender becomes an act of trust and devotion. In this way, giving ourselves over to the unction of grace becomes the essence of our true and proper worship.

Perhaps our most vital role includes recognizing that our salvation is less about a moment in time or strenuous effort and more about responding with surrender to God’s good and creative intent for our lives, and this becomes the constant and essential movements of our God-fashioned life.

Questions for Reflection:

What did you lean into?

What does this bring up in your life?

How has your understanding of God’s role and our role in salvation changed (or not)?

Why is it important we understand God’s role and our role in salvation?

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