Years ago there was a group called The Four Seasons that sang a song called “Working My Way Back to You.” The song basically spoke to a relationship that had ended and the one singing was longing for the days when they were together again. The singer also was willing to do whatever they could to get that relationship back right again. Here are some of the lyrics:
I’ll keep working my way back to you babe. With a burning love inside
Hey, I’m working my way back to you, babe, And the happiness that died
I let it get away, Been paying every day….and so on
As you can see and hear, the singer is in trouble because he wants something again that he let go. He doesn’t know it, but he’s in prison.
Listen to the verse:
When you were so in love with me, I played around like I was free
Thought I could have my cake and eat it too, But how I cried over losing you
Sadly enough, that is how many Christians try to live their lives. They actually believe they can work their way into heaven, or into God’s “best graces” instead of just “good graces.” You’ve probably seen them at your church. They are always working, working, working, and trying to make everyone around them miserable if they don’t work just like them. I guess they figure if they are going to be miserable chasing their tail, everyone around them should be the same way. They honestly believe the more they do, the more God loves them! As far as I’m concerned some of the time they spend working for the Lord should maybe be traded in for reading God’s Word. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about
not doing hard work! I am talking about trying to work your way into a better relationship with God though. Of course, scripture is full of great verses about working or not working. You can look at Proverbs 6:6, 6:9,10:26, 13:4, 15:15,19:24,20:4, and many more and see that the Lord wants us to work, and enables us to work. Just not for your salvation, or to become more righteous. If we were to work every hour of every day of our lives trying to please God, we would probably get to the end of it and God would ask us why we wasted so much time filling our days with everything but time spent with Him. Isaiah 64:6 says, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
Why do people try to work to look good to God? There’s a good chance they have a pride problem. Yes, pride. They believe if they can outdo the next person, then they will be better than that person and that smacks of pride. TAKE A CHILL PILL! Keep in mind that righteous looking acts done without a sincere love for God are just that…..ACTS!
Another reason people try to work to look good is because they have low self esteem. They try to keep ahead of anyone catching them in a wrong by always being right. Well, they can be as right as possible and still fall short of the Glory of God. Romans 3:23
A final reason they may try to work into God’s good graces is “they really doubt God can be that merciful.” They may think “no one can be that giving and forgiving!” Guest what? They are right! No one can, but God can!
Paul in writing to the Romans tried to convey the standing of Abraham in the area of righteousness. In Chapter 4 verses 1-5 Paul uses an example they knew well for being favored by God, Abraham. In verse 2 Paul writes, “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God!” Then in verse 3 Paul quoted Genesis 15:6 where it says, “For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Now here is a very important verse to remember in this area. Verse 4, “Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as favor, but as what is due.” In other words, if you are going to work to get God’s favor, then you better never stop, ever, ever, ever!!! If you do, then your credit is due. Right then!!! In other words, it cannot be done. Verse 5 brings it all together where Paul says, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.” Here’s the tragic part of this whole thing for a workaholic Christian. If you bring this up to them instead of repenting and changing, they will say, “Oh, I KNEW that.” The only thing is…..they don’t LIVE that! They are the ones who are always torn up and tearing others up with them about not doing enough. Where is their peace that passes understanding? Their peace is wrapped up in what they can do, not who they are in Christ. Also, you can pick them out in a room. They usually are the ones with the prune faces… I’m just sayin…
So, if your life song has been “I Keep Working my Way back to you God.” You need to change it to “I Believe!” When you truly believe and trust God, the work you do FOR Him will outdo the work you did to impress Him. Just remember, you don’t have to work your way back to Him, He’s right here in the midst of our weaknesses lifting us up and loving us. NOW THAT WORKS!!!!
The Pilgrimage continues…..