We learned them when we were young. “Do (perform) your very best, Stevie.” or “Study harder so you can get into college.” or “You can do anything you set your mind to,” Stevie.
Flesh patterns. Rooted in others’ expectations.
Teachers, parents, other kids all heaped expectations on us to succeed. To make something of ourselves. On our own. With the resources we have.
We learned to do our best. We learned our strengths and limits. We learned what we could do to get by. We learned tricks and shortcuts to success. Others’ expectations sometimes drove us to perform above our own abilities.
Then we got saved. But our old flesh patterns hung around. We thought things that worked for us in the world would work for us as believers: that we should do the best we can and God would pick up the slack.
Doing our very best for God will ruin us.
Operating out of our flesh is what we do when we don’t depend on Christ. Christ wants to live His life in us, through us, and as us to bring glory to God. He can not do that until we renounce our flesh patterns, submit to Christ and allow Him to live His life through us.
For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Galatians 5:18