We’re looking at indicators that would reveal that you're influenced by legalism. Today, we’re considering the thought that says “if I do my best God will do the rest” or “God will bless me as I do my part.”
That's really just to the wrong view of how God operates if you think that “if I do my part God will bless me…” You don't understand the basics of the new covenant if you think that God is responding to your faith. Ephesians 2:8 says, “for by grace you are saved through faith and that not of yourselves is the gift of God.” We are saved by grace through faith; the only part we have to play in salvation is putting faith, or trust in what is already done for us and given to us. As soon as we do that then we are blessed! Ephesians 1:3 says, “we’re blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus…” Because we are in Christ Jesus we have every spiritual blessing! We are blessed! It's a performance-based mentality to think that if I do something God will do something for me. So many people think that tithing, for example, will get God to move in their life! I was taught that it is like a slot machine; your tithe will enable you to play the slot machine, but you only get a return on your offerings over and above your 10%. That's just wrong! God is not a slot machine! The Kingdom doesn't work like that! We are blessed because we are in Christ, not because of our giving or living holy lives or anything else. It's not about our performance, it's about us putting our faith in him and what he's done for us!
The essence of a life enslaved by law is the mindset that I have to do something for God, and that I won't be blessed if I don't do anything for Him, or if I do something for God then he has to bless me. So many people have this mindset that if they're struggling to receive healing or they are not experiencing the blessing of God flowing in their life, so many people somehow start thinking along the lines of, “Why isn’t God moving in my life?! Why aren't things working out for me? Why am I not healed? …I'm doing everything I know to do… I'm living holy, I'm fasting, I'm praying, I'm giving, I'm confessing…” and all they're doing is pointing to everything that they're doing and wondering why God isn’t doing something. They are pointing to themselves and really trusting in themselves and their efforts. They are not pointing to Jesus and focusing on what he's done for them. We shouldn't be saying “well I'm doing this and that and the next thing…” we should be saying, “well, Jesus did this for me! Thank You, Jesus!” And then we start to focus on what he's done for us not what we do for him. As soon as you start focusing more on what you do for God than on what he has done for you, I can guarantee you that you're in a performance-based mentality. If you think that if you do something God has to respond to you with his blessing, you're in a performance based mentality.
God doesn't respond to your faith with his grace and blessing and favor. God doesn't respond to us, we respond to him! By grace he's already provided everything we need for life and for godliness. His grace has already provided salvation for us. All we need to do is believe in his grace and then we experience it! God does not respond to our faith by giving us grace, we respond to his grace with our faith; by our believing in him and what he's really done for us! We often think that God responds to us but in reality he is not responding to us, we are responding to him. Our faith does not move God. Many people believe that their faith moves God, but God has already moved through Jesus. Salvation has been freely offered to us. His favor, His healing power, His freeing power, His gift of provision – everything has been offered to us in Christ and is waiting for us. All we need to do is access it by faith!
God has already provided for us. Our faith doesn't create something for us; all faith does is release or access what has already been provided. Hebrews 12:2 speaks about how we look unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith.” Faith is born by focusing on Jesus and what He has done for us. By focusing on his grace we gives birth to faith. When we focus in on the goodness of God, when we focus on what Jesus has done for us and as freely offering us, then faith rises up in our hearts to receive and access what God has already freely offerred to us. We don't have to try and manufacture faith because it rises in our hearts as we focus on Jesus! It's easier than we think! We don't have to think that God only does something if we do something, because he's already done something and he's waiting for us to step into the abundant life which is already provided for us!