“I struggle with Christ’s Energy” (Col 1:29)

There is a paradox in working with/for God. On the one hand, he does the work. We can’t do it – we aren’t able. Yet, we still have to work. For example, self control is a fruit of the Spirit. I can’t squint and grunt and claw myself a little further toward self control in and of myself. It comes from the Spirit. Yet, any addict or any person who has had to make significant changes in the area of self control knows that it doesn’t happen easily. On one hand, I can’t do it. On the other, I still have to work at it. This tension is present in the 12 steps (“admitted we were powerless and our lives were unmanageable” and yet still take responsibility for one’s actions and work hard change.) I think the walls of Jericho might be a good picture. The Children of Israel showed up and marched around the city in obedience. While it didn’t seem that their actions would make any helpful impact at first, God did use them to knock over the walls an conquer the city.

 I could be wrong, but I think that is the essence of what Paul is saying when he says he struggles with Christ’s energy. He is working hard, but it is with Christ’s strength.

http://net.bible.org/bible.php?book=Col&chapter=1#n53

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