I have failed at being a Christian. I have failed morally. I have failed to be unselfish. I don’t know if God is always first in my affections. I’ve never prayed with anyone to receive Christ. My prayer and Bible study habits probably aren’t up to snuff. In these, and many other ways, I have failed at being a Christian.
All these things are true, yet none are important. A couple times recently, I have been deeply challenged by things I read about walking with God. My soul was filled with the knowledge that I was absolutely unable to fulfill His call. Then the Lord preached the gospel to me.
The gospel is not me succeeding at Christianity. (However we measure “success.” I doubt our criteria to begin with). The gospel is Christ. Christ in me. The gospel is that I no longer live. Christ lives (Gal. 2:19-20). He is the source and perfecter, the beginning and completion of all that concerns me.
Christianity has never been about me being the way, the truth, and the life. It has ever been about Jesus being sufficient to will and to do His good pleasure in me.
Just think of all the “success” stories in the Bible. Moses, who struck the rock in disobedience; David, who slept with a guy’s wife then killed him to cover it up; Jonah, who ran away from God; Peter, who denied Jesus. None of these had what it takes to succeed at walking with God.
Even Jesus, who never failed, didn’t live out from Himself (John 5:19). His Father did His works and spoke His words in Jesus, His Son. This wasn’t because Jesus lacked ability or perfection; it is because He functioned by the divine nature. No member of the Godhead lives or moves by His own power. None is His own source. Each lives and moves by the virtue and power of the others (John 16:13).
Success or failure, weak or strong, saint or sinner, Christianity is not about me or my relative excellence. He is the treasure within whether I am a jewel-encrusted chest or a clay pot. If we remember nothing else, let’s remember this: He can do above and beyond all we ask or think according to *His resurrection power that works in us* (Eph. 1:19-20, 3:20).