I remember as a boy a certain preacher who always made me feel guilty. I had accepted Christ and wanted to live a good life but he kept pushing me to a level that I couldn’t reach no matter how hard I tried. Now I understand why I couldn’t make it – “no matter how hard I tried.” God never intended us to be perfect in our own strength. Here is the gist of 2 Peter 1:3
But this same God calls us to live like Christ. Can we? Well, we can try but we’ll never make it on our own. In fact, we won’t even come close. But here is the good news – “By his divine power, God has lavished on us everything we need to live a godly life.” So, he calls on us to live a life that is genuinely pleasing to Him but not for a moment does he expect us to make it on our own. The question is not whether we now have that power but whether we are using what in fact He has already given us.
As Christians we believe that there is both what we call the natural and what we understand as the supernatural. By birth we enter the realm of the natural but to enter the realm of the supernatural requires a “new birth.” That happens when we open our hearts to Christ. A life in fellowship with God is a supernatural life. What God expects cannot be achieved using what we can do in our own strength. But we keep trying and that is the problem. Cheer up my friend; you are not a fish that God demands to fly. If he did, he’d give you wings. But, to extend the metaphor, he has given us wings. Sinful though we are by nature, God has made it possible for us to fly away to a level of “perfection” that pleases Him. It’s time to use our wings; that’s why He gave them to us.