5 For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. 6 But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), 7 or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)” (Romans 10).
We do not serve a needy God, nor a needy Christ. He really and truly does not need any of our help. But this is what people believe, however, who live by a righteousness based on the law rather than faith. “If I do this and this, then God will do this and that.” As a matter of fact, this is precisely what ISIS is doing in our day. They are trying to bring about the Apocalypse; they are trying to force their god’s hand into coming down and ending everything.
Stores post signs in their windows saying: “Help Wanted” — God posts no such sign in the heavens. We must choose to believe one thing or another: it is either up to me, or it is up to God. It is either by works, or by grace — and not just some of it, but all of it. Not only is my salvation by the grace of God alone, so is my sanctification by the grace of God alone. The one defining difference between Christianity (faith through grace) and all other religions (faith through works) is this: all religions are about man’s striving to reach up to God, hoping that their striving will somehow bring God’s attention — while Christianity is about God’s reaching down to man and getting his attention purely out of His grace.
Lord, we thank You that You are not a needy God. You need neither company, nor advice, nor help. We thank You that You don’t need, You only desire. And what You desire, You accomplish — without our help. Help us to live This Day, humbly realizing our dependence upon You, rather than pridefully assuming Your dependence upon us. Amen.