As a young Christian, I had sin in my life I could not conquer. I could sometimes resist temptation for a week or two, but eventually I fell flat on my face. In fact, my face had several rough years.

I thought God was disappointed in me. Over and over I resolved to do better. I became so frustrated by my inability to escape the bondage, I felt like banging my head against the wall.

Victory eventually did come, but it was not by any of the methods I had tried. It was not by my will power, nor by my determination, nor by making sincere promises to God, vowing I would not sin again. Victory came through learning something I had not previously understood. The truth set me free. My perspective began to change when I heard a Bible teacher share about Christ being our righteousness. 1 Cor. 1:30 says, "[God] is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made...our righteousness."

Jesus reveals the secret of sanctification in Acts 26:18. He says that we are "sanctified by faith in [Him]" All those years I was trying to be sanctified by faith in myself. No wonder my efforts were devoid of Godís power. My repeated failures were inevitable because I kept relying on myself rather than on Christ.

Itís possible to believe you are inadequate, but to still continue to look to yourself as the only possible solution. When God called Moses to deliver the two million Hebrews out of slavery, Moses felt inadequate. He said to God, "I donít speak well. Lord, please send someone else." God then sought to redirect Mosesís focus by responding, "But I will be with your mouth,

and I will teach you what you shall speak." Unfortunately, Moses refused to look beyond his inadequacy to the adequacy of God. The next verse says, "Then Godís anger was kindled against Moses." Pride lies at the root of our stubborn dependence on self.

I had to learn to look away from myself to Christ. Christ is my righteousness! I donít have to struggle and strive to be good anymore. I can just rest in Him. I can rejoice in the truth. Paul speaks about the secret or mystery of the Christian life in Colossians 1:27. He says "Christ in you" is "the hope of glory."

I had to learn the same lesson in an entirely different arena. Before college I had always been a mediocre student. I was lazy, and my academic record reflects it. (Despite my high aptitude scores, I graduated from high school in the third fifth of my class with a 2.7 GPA.) Nevertheless, I entered college with high hopes of academic success. In my second semester, I flunked every course except skiing.

I began a housepainting business, but my business soon started to fail. That was scary. I wondered if I was headed for the gutter. Fortunately, God intervened. He began to teach me once again to focus on Christís adequacy rather than on my inadequacy. He revealed to me that new creatures have Christ's nature and that one characteristic of Christ's nature is diligence. Christ is my diligence! I began to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. The results were dramatic.

I returned to college with diligence. I retook all of the courses I had flunked and finished with a 4.0 GPA. I transferred to Baylor during my sophomore year and ultimately graduated "magna cum laude."

I donít try to be adequate anymore. I have the most wonderful peace regarding the future, not because I think that Iím adequate for whatever might happen, but because I know God is adequate.

Without Christ I can do nothing, BUT Jesus Christ is my life.


ó Jamie Lash                     






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