And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities (Isaiah 64:7).
Most Bible-reading, Bible-believing Christians know Ephesians 2:8,9. This passage clearly states that a person is saved by grace only; works are not involved in Gods plan of redemption. In other words, one must come to the Cross for salvation empty-handed. No person can ever boast in heaven, telling of the works he did to earn his entrance there. Instead all glory, honor, and recognition will go to the Lamb, who alone is worthy of our adoration.
Unfortunately, this truth has been distorted and a great misunderstanding has developed, which has prevented many people from moving toward Christian maturity. The faulty thinking seems to be that if God wishes to do something with our lives other than the mediocre, He will do it, regardless of an individuals response. But nothing could be further from the truth! A Christian simply will not grow and develop, or be greatly used of God, who will not work at it.
One of the saddest verses in the Old Testament is our text for today. The stinging indictment is that no person stirreth up himself to take hold of God.
The phrase, stirreth up himself, conveys the urgency of discipline and work and diligent effort. No person will ever become what God wants him to be who will not put forth effort to do so. James said it plainly: Faith without works is dead faith (James 2:17). It is not either . . . or, but both! Both faith and works are necessary for Christian growth.
Time, effort, and energy are needed to study the word, to become a prayer warrior, and to take the role of a servant. May we soon hear Him say, Well done, thou good and faithful servant (Matthew 25:21). JGH