My trust and assured reliance and confident hope shall be fixed in Him. —Hebrews 2:13
Proverbs 17:1 says that a house full of sacrifices with strife is not pleasing to the Lord. In other words, we could make all kinds of sacrifices of time and effort to try to help people, yet God is not pleased unless we stay in peace. Pursuing peace means making an effort. But we cannot maintain peace simply by our own fleshly effort. We need God’s help and we need grace, which is His power assisting us and enabling us to do what needs to be done.
The effort we make must be in Christ. So often we just try to do what is right without asking for God’s help, and that type of fleshly effort never produces good fruit. The Bible calls this a “work of the flesh.” It is man’s effort trying to do God’s job. What I am saying is, be sure you lean on God and ask for His help. When you succeed, give Him the credit, the honor, and the glory because success is impossible without Him. Jesus said, Apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing (John 15:5).
It takes most of us a long time to believe this scripture enough to stop trying to do things without leaning on God. We try and fail, try and fail. It happens over and over until we finally wear ourselves out and realize that God Himself is our strength, our success, and our victory. He doesn’t just give us strength—He is our Strength. He does not just give us the victory—He is our Victory. Yes, we make an effort to keep peace, but we dare not make an effort without depending on God’s power to flow through us—failure is certain if we do.