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There is a tendency in Christian life to lean on your own ability to accomplish God's plans, rather than on His ability. As I work with believers, I am often amazed by the traps that ensnare people who, earlier, had been close to God.

Any strategy of Satan becomes effective only when people fail to continue in God's strength and grace. They take matters into their own hands, facing their situations without the power of God's Word truly active in them. From the newest Christian to the seasoned saint, these tricks of Satan can pull people away from true power, and focus them on human effort.

Later in his appeal to the Galatians, Paul says, "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace" (Gal. 5:4).

Fallen from grace! To fall from grace is to allow God's grace to become null and void, to trust in something other than God's ability to accomplish His work or will. The J.B. Phillips translation of this verse reads, " put yourself outside the range of His grace."

A subtle process draws us away from the grace of God. His grace empowers us to do God's will, God's way. But without a fresh and strong dependence on His grace within, we will begin to look to other ways of fulfilling the desires of our heart.

To fall from grace is to work to do God's will without having the power alive and active in us that is necessary for the job. It is to live by laws, rules and human effort, without the deep awareness and trust that all is accomplished by grace, through faith.

It can also be seen when we are pushing to do what we want, regardless of God's desire for us. Ambition can be very deceptive. Ambition is directed by things we want to accomplish. Lacking God's blessing, we will need to complete those tasks with our own talents and abilities.

In our society, each of us must be a "person on the go" to keep up with the expectations for excelling. From our youth we are conditioned to think that education and hard work are the important ingredients for success. While these are certainly helpful, they are meaningless if not directed by the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Vision, on the other hand, is that which can be accomplished only with God's help and strength. He places His desire within your heart, and then your desire is centered on what He wants. God gives grace to those with vision—His vision!

Many people have fastened their ambition on a vision God gave to someone they admire. To the person with vision, God's provision and grace are abundant. But the one who pursues it as his own goal has to do it alone.

That is not to say that good things have not been done by ambitious people. I have known many whose personal drive produced impressive results. Even ministries have erected great buildings and completed notable projects by hard work and human ambition. But if mere ambition and human effort bring achievement, it will take more of the same to sustain it.

Success in the kingdom of God is measured by a standard different from the world's. Success in His kingdom is based solely on Who has told you to do what you are doing. God's blessing does not rest on your ambitious accomplishments, but on the vision He gives you.

When God has given you His vision, He supplies you with the grace to fully accomplish His plan and sustain it.

James 4:6 says, "...God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." When you humbly receive His desire, and pursue His plan with all your heart, He will provide the grace and ability to see it through. Your only interest is that Jesus receives the glory.

The Apostle Paul clearly shows his reliance on this grace. Notice 1 Corinthians 15:10: "But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."

Paul was confident in the grace within him. Yet he pointed to the grace of God as his strength, and his own labor as the fruit of God's gift to him.

How refreshing it is to be with those who live in this grace. You notice it in their works, their priorities, and their interests. The world's standards do not dictate or even influence their goals. Their will is to do the will of their Father in heaven.

Source: Grace Power Beyond Your Ability by Dennis Burke.
Excerpt permission granted by Dennis Burke Ministries

Author Biography

Dennis Burke, Ph.D.
Web site: Dennis Burke Ministries
Since 1979, Dennis Burke has led multitudes of believers into the biblical principles of faith, healing, love, prosperity, and righteousness. Through the Insights: the Way to a New Life magazine, books, eBooks, CDs, and mp3 resources, Dennis has brought revelation knowledge on the truths of God's Word. He has taught Christians everywhere to know God more deeply and overcome the challenges life brings through faith in God's Word.

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