The common idea, which I entertained for many years, reasoned something like this: I realize I am weak. God cannot expect too much from me. Perhaps He only expects me to do four or five percent and He will make Himself responsible for the other 95 percent. I will do as much as I can — a little bit — and He will make up the deficit. After all, we have been told, “God helps those who help themselves” and “If you take one step, God will take two.”
Such reasoning is absolutely contradictory to everything the Bible reveals on the subject. The fact is, I must do 100 percent of my part, not four or five percent. God will do 100 percent of His part. I certainly cannot assist with His part since His part is totally supernatural. To have a balanced Christian life, He must do all of His part and I, all of mine. What then, is my responsibility in living the Christian life?
The Apostle Paul summarized man’s part when he gave his testimony in Philippians 1:21: “For to me, to live is Christ...” That is what Paul saw as his responsibility. There are really two parts to that responsibility. Let me try to explain. Suppose you were traveling down a long road and you came to a fork in the road. Until you reach that fork, there is only one way to walk. The moment you come to the fork, however, you have to make a decision. It is not possible for you to walk both ways. You cannot go left and right at the same time. A decision has to be made about which road you will choose. In the Apostle Paul’s view, there were only two people in the entire universe. There was Paul and there was Christ, his risen Lord. Paul was at the fork in the road. He had to choose which road of life he would take. Paul could have walked down the road that would allow him to live his own life according to his own will; the other choice was the road that allowed Christ to live in his place after His will. Paul made the choice. He said, “For me, to live is Christ!” He made a decision that was binding for the rest of his days on the earth. From that moment on, the will of God determined everything in his life. Choosing God’s will and doing it are two very different things.
The second part of Paul’s responsibility, coupled with the choosing of God’s will, was the determination to live in a life-long dependence upon Christ to accomplish God’s will in his life. That was Paul’s testimony. “I will utterly yield to His will in everything and I will depend on Him at all times to work out His will and purposes in me. Christ is now my life. I have exchanged my life for His. All that life is for me now is going to be lived on this two-fold basis: I will be abandoned to the will of the Lord and I will utterly trust Him to work in me the willing and the doing of His good pleasure.”
That is the complete responsibility for living a balanced Christian life. All God requires of us is that we give ourselves away in helpless dependence upon Him. He longs to exchange His life for ours; He waits only for our consent. He ever waits to be wanted. God will not wait one moment beyond the moment He is truly wanted. Desiring His life rather than our own is the choice we must make, and the moment we choose His life, we have fulfi lled our responsibility. From that moment on, we have every right to trust Him fully to do His part. This is the fork in the road. This is our responsibility. We must make a life-long decision to live on an utterly new basis — the basis of being completely yielded to the Lord Jesus and placing our utter confi dence in Him. What an exchange! His life for ours!