The first groundball I remember fielding in college was routine. I was a freshman playing shortstop. Three-hopper my way, right at me. Field. Throw. Huh? How in the world did he beat that out?
Proverbs 19:16 sheds some light on it–“He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, but he who is careless of his ways will die.”
Or, he who listens to his coach and charges the ball because runners are faster in college than in high school (no matter how strong your arm is) will get outs, but he who sits back and thinks no one can outrun his arm will look stupid.
Or, he who follows what God has said will live forever, but those who dismiss God as outdated will stand on their own under his wrath against sin.
Just like I laid back on that ground ball, arrogantly thinking I could make up for it with my arm, lots of folks arrogantly do life on their own, thinking that they are somehow “good enough.”
God’s standard, however, isn’t “good enough.” His standard is him–perfection. And none of us are perfect.
None of us but Jesus, that is.
Only he has charged every ground ball, made every throw, gotten every out, made every pitch, never made an out.
Only he can stand before God as “good enough.”
His command? “Follow me.” It is through obedience to that command that we find life, his life. It is through arrogantly ignoring it, counting on our own “goodness” that we wind up wondering what happened when God judges sin.
We can keep doing it our way, or we can count on what Jesus has done his way.
Lord Jesus, no more me. Only you, living in and through me. I surrender. Amen.