It is in one of Christianity’s greatest ironies that one of its greatest hopes emerges. The irony is that naturally, we are incapable of living the Christian life – a life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc – without God’s help. The things that God asks us to do are utterly impossible without the assistance of God. The demanded is impossible without the Demander.
The hope, however, is that everything that God commands us to do, He does enable us to do. He tells us to love our neighbor, but it is He who plants love in our heart. He demands we forgive those who offend us, but we do so because He forgave us first, us, whose sin sent His beloved Son to the cross.
Ephesians 2:10 says that we are the handiwork of God, created in Christ Jesus for good works. Philippians 2:13 then tells us that is is God who works in us, both to will and to work. In other words, the only way we can want what God wants is if God gives us that desire, and the only way we can act out what God wants is if God works in us to work out what He asks.
It is for this reason that daily we must approach the throne of grace, not with many words to state our (un)deserving case, but with a humble prayer on our lips:
Father, grant me the power of the
Holy Spirit, that I may live like
Jesus, love like Him, act like Him,
think like Him, react like Him, interpret
the actions of the world like Him – that
I may be like Him.