C.S. Lewis On Leaving It To God

Lewis says, “Now we in a sense, cannot discover our failure to keep God’s law except by trying our very hardest (and then failing). Unless we really try, whatever we say there will always be at the back of our minds the idea that if we try harder next time we shall succeed in being completely good. Thus, in one sense, the road back to God is a road of moral effort, or trying harder and harder. But in another sense it is not trying that is ever going to bring us home. All this trying leads to the vital moment at which you turn to God and say, ‘You must do this, I can’t.'”

Lewis goes on to say, “It is the change from being confident in our own efforts to the state in which we despair of doing anything for ourselves and leave it to God. I know the words ‘leave it to God’ can be misunderstood but they must stay for the moment. The sense in which a Christian leaves it to God is that he puts all his trust in Christ: trusts that Christ will somehow share with him the perfect human obedience which he carried out from his birth to crucifixion: that Christ will make the man more like Himself and, in a sense, make good his deficiences.”

Lewis continues, ” . . . handing everything over to Christ does not, of course, mean that you stop trying. To trust him means, of course, trying to do all He says. There would be no sense in saying that you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has  begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you . . . . A serious moral effort is the only thing that will bring you to the point where you throw in the sponge. Faith in Christ is the only thing to save you from despair at that point: and out of that Faith in Him good actions must inevitably come.”

In the Chapter Christian Behavior from Mere Christianity pp. 128-129.

Good things to ponder from Lewis. We need more people like him in this age!

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