No amount of law-keeping, self improvement, discipline or religious effort can make us right with Yahweh. The righteousness that comes from Yahweh is by faith through Christ. If it was by law or works, none of us would be right with Yahweh for His standards are way beyond our reach.
Our righteousness comes by trusting Christ for Yahweh “made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of Yahweh in Him” 2 Corinthians 5: 21. At our conversion, Christ righteousness is poured into us for Yahweh’s offer is to trade His righteousness for our sin.
By nature we tend to be attracted to that which is contrary to Yahweh. However when we accept Christ as our Lord and savior, Yahweh works in us “ both to will and to do for His good pleasure” Philippians 2: 13. Yahweh knowing our nature and weaknesses helps us to want to obey Him and also gives us the power to do His will.
Yahweh does not leave us alone in our struggles, but instead He comes alongside us and help us to “work out” our salvation, Philippians 2:12. When we make mistakes, we know that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”, 1 John 1: 9.
Confession eases our consciences and lightens our cares which helps us to be at peace with Yahweh. Unconfessed sin gives the devil ammunition with which to continuously torment us. True confession involves a commitment not to continue sinning because one has a changed heart and not because they are caught.
In admitting our sins and in seeking forgiveness through repentance not only do we defeat the devil in his whiles against us but we also;
a) Agree with Yahweh that our sin is truly sin and that we are willing to turn from it
b) Ensure that we do not conceal the sin from Yahweh and also from ourselves
c) We recognize our tendency to sin and in the process choose to rely on Yahweh for sustenance
Our goal as Christians should be to know Christ and becoming more like Him. To do so we must lay aside anything harmful and forsake anything that may distract us from being effective Christians. This could be a relationship, a job or material things, only you know .
Paul examining his life wrote, “ I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of Yahweh in Christ Jesus” Philippians 3: 13-14.
As Paul says, we must also let go our past guilt and look forward to what Yahweh will help us to become. The devil has a way of reminding us of our past failures once we come to Christ, but we must remember that once in Christ we are new creations and “ old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” 2 Corinthians 5: 17.
Indeed the writer of Proverbs states that “ He who follows righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness and honor” Proverbs 21:21. That should be every Christian’s goal.