The key in that last sentence is, "I was trying." Through repeated attempts, I was failing again and again.
I don't think we ever really get to an end of our "trying", but our Father builds within us a quicker recognition of these vain attempts. It's cool to find yourself thinking, "Been there, done that!" as you become more and more convinced that everything else is futile, except Christ ... who is in us.
Anyways...I'll get to the point. I'm not sure what I should be doing. I think to myself "what should I be doing." How do I allow Christ to live through me? So yeah...I'm struggling with those thoughts.
Let me encourage you in this: This struggle is a good thing!! Does that surprise you? Do you want to know why I say this? (Talk about "begging the question", huh?)
Here are your options:
- Beat yourself up over what you may consider doubts, failures and/or shortcomings, OR
- Thank your Father for giving you these continued insights that cause you to recognize the difference between your "trying" and His doing.
Which one sounds more appealing? :)
There are reasons that our Father left us in this world after giving us the Spirit. One of the main reasons is that this world is the PERFECT background against which we may see the reality of Christ. You and I have much of the world's logic clinging to us constantly in our everyday thought processes. Our Daddy brings us into His understanding by means of CONTRAST. The more we see what it ISN'T ... the more we see what it IS. That's what Paul was saying to the Ephesians when he wrote,
But you did not learn Christ in this way, Ephesians 4:20
...and then he went on to bring out the contrast of the new life in Christ AGAINST the old life we learned in this world.
We have been hit over the head so many times by the wisdom of "Churchianity" that MANY believers have found themselves asking this same question you have:
If I can't please God by the things I do, why should I do anything?
You've been taught the same thing that I have about "doing things for God", and what we have learned is a lie. We've been taught that productive "Christian" living is something that we must "decide" to do. We call it "dedication" (or something like that). If it doesn't "take" the first time then we need to "RE-dedicate" until we're finally dedicated. After this, we're supposed to "study" or to "apply" ourselves so that we might gain specific bits of information ("doctrine") in order to bring us to the point where we can be of some productive use for God. We have been scolded by our leaders and teachers for not loving Christ enough to do what it takes to serve Him and make Him happy. We have been told that we just don't care enough. Or that we're not dedicated enough. Etc, etc. Sound at all familiar?
The only reason we listen to this kind of stuff is because we have been convinced to ignore the miraculousness of what has happened to us in Christ.
- For through HIM sin no longer has a valid claim on us.
- Through HIM we have been made the righteousness of God.
- Through HIM we have received the Spirit of God.
- Through HIM we have been brought into union with the Father.
- Through HIM we have been given the mind of Christ.
- Through HIM we have been made sons of God.
- Through HIM we have a new life that loves the Father and desires on to please Him.
Have you ever watched a little kid who is caught up with pleasing his dad? There is a built-in desire within a child to love daddy and please him. Now, I know we're living in a fallen world, and there are examples galore that would seem to refute this, but nevertheless, even in spite of all the badness, we can't ignore that there is some kind of mystical relationship that makes kids WANT to please their father. No one had to teach them that.
What happens when the child's desire to please daddy is destroyed? What happens when the "gifts" that are being offered up to dad are criticized as being no good? Simple ... the joyful desire to please dad is stifled. The child will come to the place where he forgets that he even loved his dad. Earthly fathers (being "evil") put their children down and criticize them ... and then they react to the child's reaction by claiming that his children don't love him and never do anything to help him.
The fact is that YOU are loved by your Father and that YOU are pleasing to Him. This is what has been put within you. THIS is what you have been taught in Jesus. But you have been stifled by "religion" and its assumptions about you. Before you were given life your righteousness was filthy rags, and nothing you did could please God. In Christ, your sins are taken away. Religion (or should I say, the logic of the religious mindset) wants to convince you to offer up those old filthy rags to God. But God doesn't want the thing or the works of the thing that you were. But He has made you new. And your new life is Christ in you. He is very pleased with that. Don't let the self-righteous religious mind convince you otherwise. :)