I think I thought that salvation by grace alone meant that there would be no painful effort on my part. If sanctification, like salvation, is an act of God, then it’s a done deal and all I have to do is wait for it to happen. Any labor I do would be blasphemy, stealing glory from God, works righteousness, legalism. And I’d be bound to fail anyway. All good deeds should flow easily out of pure love motives. I will be changed by and by, with or without my conscious knowledge.
But in truth, it takes an act of my own will to be nice to my husband when he is being unfair; it takes practice to be gentle to demanding, selfish children; I need to be reminded ever so often of the forgiveness I’ve received so that I can forgive others.
It is grace that makes me want to be good, but I still must work. It is grace that makes me willing and able to work, but I still must work. Is this the Catholic concept of cooperating with the Holy Spirit?
There is a hierarchy of wants and what I want right now is not always what I want most. What I want most is to be loving and kind and holy, to please God and to be a blessing to the creation. What I want right now is to be left alone.
Philippians 2:12; Romans 6:6; Colossians 3:9