In university, I had a professor who used the phrase “100% + 100% = 100%” to describe our growth as Christians. 100% of God’s work + 100% our work = growing to be like Jesus.
Paul says it this way in Philippians – “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil 2:12b-13)
100% effort on our part working out our salvation plus 100% of God’s effort working in us equals growth in grace. You don’t save yourself – salvation is a gift of grace – but work out what it means to become more like Christ in your situation. Work hard!! Paul is passionate here – he’s calling people to strive for holiness.
But at the end of the day – who gives us strength? God. Who is at work to make us more like Jesus? God. How is true change going to come? God. He has to be at work if true, lasting change is going to come to our lives.
God wants us to live holy lives which are pleasing to him. Not because he’s an arbitrary God who sits up in heaven dreaming up little tricks for us to do. No – God loves his children and his given his law as a blessing for us to live lives as he, our Creator, intended.
God calls us to give 100% effort in our to be more like Jesus. But remember he’ll bring his 100% as well. And his 100% really is 100%, unlike our puny efforts.
Relax as you strive for holiness. God’s at work.